Monday, October 6, 2014

What the heck is Thermal Proteome Profiling?

I don't know everything about proteomics, and I'll never ever claim that I do, but I've been doing this for a while now and I've had some really good teachers over the years.  Its rare when a concept completely catches me off guard.

Thermal Proteome Profiling?  Never heard of it.  Maybe I'm not the only one though, cause it sure landed right square in this month's issue of Science, and that's generally where we put new stuff.

Here is how it works in a sleepy Monday morning nutshell.  You heat up a cell culture.  Some proteins are going to denature and become soluble before others.  You can get those proteins that went soluble by digesting the supernatant.  You can digest them and use quantitative proteomics and see what proteins denature and when.

The baseline is going to be cool enough, right?!?  All by itself, this is a cool concept.  Well, what if you took it a step further and dropped in different drugs and checked to see how that affected the stability of those proteins?  You could learn a ton of things.  What you'd do with that data?  Maybe that would point you directly toward the proteins that drug is targeting!

Super cool concept.  Nope, I would never have thought of this one at all.  I'd love to give it a try, though!  I have a drug in mind I've been trying to figure out the molecular target of for like 5 years or something.  Maybe this is the way to finally get to it!

You can check out this cool paper by Mikhail Savitski et. al., here.

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