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Incyte Corporation Message Board

  • No_Ambition No_Ambition Mar 9, 1998 12:16 PM Flag

    Proteomics Potential

    What has anyone heard of the Proteomics deal Incyte did with OGS ?

    How far off is the pay back for this technology ?

    What are the pluses and minuses for this platform technology ?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts !

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    • No_Ambition:

      I'm also quite curious to see how the Proteomics business works out. My guess is that it will eventually complement nucleotide array and DNA mass spec technology nicely, providing information that those techniques cannot.


      I always thought that the idea was pretty loopy. Sure, you can do a reasonable job of separating proteins on a 2D gel (on the basis of size and charge) if you're looking a specific protein for which you have a good antibody. Looking at the 5000-10000 different proteins which will be expressed by a given tissue type *simultaneously*, however, seemed like an unresolvable mess. However, with good technique - and equipment - apparently it can be done.

      I don't know exactly what Incyte and OGS have in mind, but I would guess that they want to develop graphic libraries of the proteins expressed in different tissues, in different organisms. These reference libraries could then be compared to the protein expression patterns found in tumour tissue. Differentially expressed protein could then be collected and then microsequenced to determine its identity.

      Is that faster or easier than collecting RNA from the tumour, making first strand cDNA, and sticking it on a DNA chip? HECK NO! Protein is a pain to work with, too, since it's more easily degraded.

      ...however, the proteomic approach can give you information that DNA/RNA won't. For starters, RNA overexpression isn't always meaningful: it doesn't necessarily mean that the protein is overexpressed, which is the relevent issue. Second, the problem could be one of post-translational modification (eg. altered glycosylation) rather than overexpression... and this will be detectable using proteomics.

      It seems to me that this is another wonderful case of Incyte getting in to a new technology at the ground floor, with very little risk and great potential benefits. The proteomics payback will likely depend on how often it provides information that chips and MALDI-TOF cannot. We'll have to wait and see...

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