Why turn to tens of thousands of pounds-worth of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) equipment when a standard bench centrifuge will do? It's a question posed following the recent launch of Agilent Technologies' multiple affinity removal spin ca
Why turn to tens of thousands of pounds-worth of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) equipment when a standard bench centrifuge will do? It’s a question posed following the recent launch of Agilent Technologies’ multiple affinity removal spin cartridge, but, as one of the researchers who helped test the product notes, it’s certainly not time to ditch the HPLC.
Spin cartridges, designed to fit into benchtop microcentrifuges, are coated with affinity-purified polyclonal antibodies selected to remove more than 98 per cent of the six most abundant proteins [albumin, immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgA, alpha-1-antitrypsin, transferrin and haptoglobin] in human serum, and the three most abundant proteins (albumin, IgG and transferrin) in mouse serum. Those proteins comprise approximately 85 and 80 per cent of the protein mass in human and mouse serum, respectively. Removing them greatly facilitates the detection of less abundant proteins.
The technology opens a wealth of opportunities for small academic labs working in proteomics research with no access to HPLC technology, says Janne Lehti?, team leader in clinical proteomics at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Industry and larger systematic projects will opt for the more automated solution, HPLC, he says.
’The usefulness of this is in smaller research projects where you have a variety of things that you’re doing,’ said Lehti?. Unlike HPLC, he says, several protein depletions can be made at the same time. ’It saves time and money at the same time,’ he said.
Lehti?’s group is using spin cartridge technology on a lung cancer project, looking at the protein makeup of serum from lung cancer patients compared with that from healthy controls. Their data await processing and publication.
Spin cartridges fit a gap in the market, he says. ’It’s going to be a very popular product,’ said Lehti?. ’It’s one of the best for antibody-based depletion.’
But one obvious drawback, he concedes, is that it’s not just the major proteins (albumin etc) that are removed. His findings reveal that less-abundant proteins are removed along with these major components, and he is in the process of determining what those extra proteins are. ’You might lose your biomarker, that might be the danger,’ he admitted.