Sigma-Aldrich launches research tools

Related tags Signal transduction Gene

Sigma-Aldrich has launched a handful of laboratory equipment and
technological developments that could prove useful in drug
discovery. The life science company is currently in the midst of a
reorganisation of its operating structure involving Sigma's two
life science and high-tech research businesses.

Sigma's new antibody array identifies Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) and Protein Kinase C (PKC) expression in cell or protein extracts, making it useful for understanding the physiological functions of these cascades and their implications on disease states.

The Panorama Ab Microarray - MAPK & PKC Pathways Kit, is designed for studying protein expression in cell or tissue extracts and is compatible with various species including human, mouse, and rat. Each antibody array contains 84 antibodies spotted in 12 subarrays containing duplicate spots of antibodies, positive control spot for Cy3 and Cy5, and a negative control.

"MAPK & PKC are important cellular mediators known to be involved in signal transduction associated with cell and tissue growth, differentiation, inflammation, and apoptosis,"​ said Alicia Pruett, product manager of Array Technology at Sigma.

"The MAPK & PKC antibody array provides a high throughput platform to identify protein expression in a single experiment,"​ she added.

Sigma also launches the FluoroProfile, a new kit for fluorescent quantification of proteins, which offers several advantages including: reversible covalent binding, large dynamic range, superior sensitivity, and exceptional emission stability.

The technology is based on the novel fluorophore epicocconone identified by researchers at Fluorotechnics and has been developed through a collaboration agreement with the Australian company.

The ability to bind to free amines reversibly in an aqueous environment make this a popular method for quantification prior to mass spectrometry of precious small samples. Tolerance of buffering and solubilizing substances that interfere with other commonly used quantification methods eliminates the requirement of precipitation and risk of sample modification.

Sigma-Aldrich has also taken this opportunity to launch it's Mission RNAi product line, which includes the first available formats for The RNAi Consortium (TRC) shRNA libraries.

The Mission TRC shRNA clone libraries are a collection of 150,000 pre-cloned lentiviral-based shRNA vector constructs targeting 15,000 human genes (MissionTRC-Hs1.0) and 15,000 mouse genes (Mission TRC-Mm1.0). Sigma-Aldrich recently entered into an agreement with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to serve as a scientific collaborator and distribution partner of TRC, which is comprised of seven academic research institutions and four commercial life science research partners.

To date, the collection includes approximately 35,000 shRNA vector constructs targeting 5,300 human genes and 2,200 mouse genes. The libraries will be expanded on a quarterly basis to include new gene targets. Each target is currently represented by an average of 3-5 shRNA vectors supplied individually in frozen bacterial glycerol stock format.

Compared to existing synthetic siRNAs, the MISSION shRNA clones will provide a renewable resource that can be propagated as needed. Upon transfection of the purified plasmid DNA, transient or stable gene silencing may be achieved depending upon the desired duration of phenotypic observation.

In addition, the clones may be combined with lentiviral packaging systems for infection and integration into the genomes of traditionally difficult cell lines such as primary cells and non-dividing cells.

"The lentiviral-based system provides several advantages over other available viral methods including broad tropism, receptor-independent delivery, and the ability to integrate into the genome without a mitotic event,"​ commented Keith Jolliff, global marketing manager of Molecular Biology at Sigma-Aldrich.

"The Mission TRC collection is the first comprehensive lentiviral-based pre-cloned shRNA library, and we plan to facilitate its use by researchers worldwide for advancement of functional genomics research,"​ he added.

Finally, Sigma has rolled out its Stemline T Cell Expansion Medium, a new serum-free T cell medium optimised specifically for expansion and activation of human T cells.

This new culture medium offers a consistently high T cell yield in a serum-free environment. The elimination of fetal bovine serum effectively reduces performance variability and removes safety risks associated with possible adventitious agents in serum.

T cells expanded ex vivo in Stemline T Cell Expansion Medium exhibit rigorous and consistent growth kinetics, maintenance of the proper CD4/CD8 ratio, and both ex vivo (Chromium Release Assay) and in vivo functionality (Graft vs. Host Induction in NOD/SCID-Beta2M Mice)

"The new member of the Stemline media platform has shown promising results in bench scale experiments," commented Lisa Masterson,cell culture product manager at Sigma-Aldrich.

For more details of these products visit Sigma Aldrich​'s website.

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