Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Fellowships, Grants, & Awards

Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Fellowships, Grants, & Awards

Article excerpt

Integrated Biomedical Technology Research Resources for Proteomics and Glycomics

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) proposes to foster the development of improved technologies and methods for proteomics and glycomics research by sponsoring integrated biomedical technology research resources through the P41 mechanism. One way to confront the growing analytical challenges of the genome era is to pursue technology development primarily along integrated lines of inquiry rather than single technologies. This is particularly true in the field of proteomics. The focus of these integrated research resources will be to develop a range of innovative analytical tools and methods, and apply these tools to biologically significant problems. The resources will also provide broad access to these integrated technologies through collaboration, service, training, and dissemination activities.

Proposed integrated research resource centers should focus on the core technological and methodological problems of proteomics. Responses with special expertise in analytical glycobiology are encouraged, and this solicitation is open to unconventional or alternative approaches. Regardless of the specific experimental approaches taken in proteomics experiments, a common theme in this field is the need for synergy among three principal domains: 1) biological competencies, 2) analytical chemistry, and 3) computational tools. These domains should each inform the development of tools and methods in their counterpart areas. Accomplishing this goal in a climate of specialization demands a fundamentally collaborative approach.

It is anticipated that these integrated centers may be significantly larger and more complex than a more narrowly defined research resource. These centers may be expected to draw together the expertise of experienced investigators whose areas of specialization and established research focus will contribute to the overall goals of the project. Because of the need for integration of technologies at a fundamental level, it is considered critical that participating investigators be in a position to work closely together in an iterative manner.

Development of complex integrated approaches to proteomics problems will require a context within which development of methods can proceed. Investigators may wish to select a model system or define a biological research topic that will serve as a framework for the technological research and development activities of the resource. Investigators will be expected to clearly define the scope of their activities, and this definition should inform their choice of biological context, if any.

Integrated research resources in proteomics will eventually be expected to have a broad-based significant impact on a variety of biological problems, through both collaborative projects and those initiated within the resource. However, ultimately the most important deliverables will be state-of-the-art technology and methods for proteomics research.

Posttranslational modification is a point of concern in the development of strategies for proteomics. Because these modifications cannot be inferred directly from gene sequence, they generally can only be characterized directly. This raises issues about sequence coverage and stoichiometry of modifications that are not presented by proteomics problems focused on protein identification. In particular, the complexity and diversity of glycosylation events significantly complicates the linkage between genetic sequence and mature, active proteins. Because glycosylation is mediated by a wide range of factors, discovery-based analytical tools that can survey the complexities of glycosylation on a systemwide basis may have significant biological impact.

Besides obstacles presented by proteomics in general, glycobiology-focused proteomics (glycomics) requires the development of novel approaches and tools directed at the special challenges of glycobiology. …

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