UConn PMF Facility wins state-of-the-art equipment grant

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UConn’s Proteomics and Metabolomics (PMF) facility has received nearly $ 1 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to purchase two state-of-the-art instruments that will dramatically improve the facility’s ability to perform analysis Cutting-edge proteomics, with important implications for understanding human disease.

PMF exists within COR2E (Center for Open Research Resources and Equipment), which enables researchers to access UConn’s expertise and cutting-edge technology to promote a university-wide collaborative research support system .

Proteomics is the study of the varieties, quantities, roles and dynamics of proteins in a mixture, a cell, a tissue or an organism. PMF uses ultra-high performance liquid chromatography with high resolution mass spectrometry to identify proteins, peptides and small molecules in complex mixtures.

Acquiring protein-specific information in a complete proteome, the set of proteins that can be expressed in a cell, tissue, or organism, is essential for researchers seeking to understand how proteins work, especially in models. of human diseases. Proteome changes often directly cause or correlate with disease-specific outcomes in cells, tissues and organisms.

However, there are several challenges in accessing this valuable information. Proteomes often include tens of thousands of proteins, and individual protein members regularly undergo dynamic changes in abundance, localization, and modification, making it difficult to analyze with a single experiment.

Advanced mass spectrometry is a powerful solution to these challenges. This method identifies proteins that exist in a given proteome and produces a quantitative measure of protein-specific changes in the same experiment.

By incorporating quantitative mass spectrometry, researchers can harness protein-specific information to develop new targeted treatments for a multitude of diseases.

The grant will allow the facility to purchase a Thermo Scientific Orbitrap Eclipse Tribrid ETD mass spectrometer and a fully dedicated Dionex Ultimate 3000 RSLCnano ultra-high performance liquid chromatography system.

PMF Director Jeremy L. Balsbaugh, who served as principal investigator for the grant that will fund the purchase of this instrumentation, will also oversee the operation of the equipment.

“The acquisition of the Orbitrap Tribrid Eclipse will fundamentally change proteomics at UConn by providing many new analytical options that currently do not exist anywhere at the university,” said Balsbaugh. “I am delighted to begin incorporating these cutting-edge technologies to elevate proteomics research for important health-related projects at UConn and UConn Health.”

This new equipment will help PMF transform proteomics research at UConn and enable cutting-edge analysis incorporating maximum ion sensitivity and significantly increased depth of proteome coverage. The facility will also be able to provide new gas phase sequencing options rooted in electron transfer reactions for peptides and proteins, and apply new methods to provide the most accurate quantification for proteomics. multiplexed based on labeling that incorporates Thermo Scientifique’s Tandem Mass Tag technology.

These services are essential for researchers in many fields, including cancer research, immunology, pathobiology, materials science, molecular and cellular biology, and pharmacology. The facility provides this important service to UConn researchers and those beyond the university, at an affordable price, enabling scientific advancement.

Initially, this purchase will directly support 15 UConn Storrs and UConn Health researchers, including 13 NIH-funded researchers, studying the underlying contributions of proteins to human diseases, including epilepsy, cancer, inflammation, microcephaly, neurodegenerative diseases, mitochondrial diseases and tick-borne diseases. . Understanding how proteins contribute to these diseases is a critical step in the development of new treatments for patients.

It is important to note that additional researchers outside of these 15 researchers will also be able to take advantage of these new features when specific research needs require these advanced methods.

Since its opening in 2017, PMF has supported work in more than 100 laboratories. Prior to receiving this funding, all of this work was done using a single refurbished Thermo Scientific Q Exactive HF mass spectrometer. Due to the high demand, the spectrometer was constantly operating at full capacity. This old model lacked several key analytical options that many of these NIH-funded projects were needed.

This improved technology will allow the facility to support cutting-edge research that requires this high level of analysis.

This grant is an NIH S10 High-End Instrumentation Grant Award No .: 1S10OD028445-01A1

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