One of the things that thrills us the most is when our clients have a success that we played some small part in. This month, we’re excited about recent news from Tetra Discovery Partners, headed up by a long time Emerald collaborator, Dr. Mark Gurney. Tetra has been awarded a prestigious NIH Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network grant to enable discovery of modulators of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, details provided below. Another longtime client, SomaLogic, is doing some pretty cool aptamer design work which will be featured in a presentation by Emerald’s Doug Davies at ACA on July 30. This work will also be highlighted in an Emerald webinar following the ACA talk, so watch our website for sign up details in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, the July webinar will focus on application of multi-target parallel cloning strategies to a variety of expression challenges. Join us for Amy Raymond’s practical tips on construct design and parallel expression testing on July 17th. Hope your summer is a great one, and as always, we’d love to hear from you about any of your protein and structure needs or adventures.
Diana Wetmore, Vice President of Protein Services
Click on the title to register for these live webinars, and check out the webinar archive to view previous recordings.
July 17, 2012
Technological advances in the forms of new tools and procedures have revolutionized access to protein structure determination by X-ray crystallography by dramatically lowering time and cost. These tools and procedures enable structural biologists to rapidly advance protein crystallography projects by allowing the researcher to select multiple target constructs and prosecute them in parallel, thus compressing the gene-to-protein part of the gene-to-structure pathway. Learn how this can be accomplished through high throughput methodologies for parallel cloning. By putting your gene into a variety of contexts followed by screening the array of constructs for expression and solubility, you will gain critical insights as to which constructs will provide the highest return on investment at the preparative scale. In this free 45 minute webinar, several case studies will be used to illustrate how concepts from the Multi-Target Parallel Processing™ platform (MTPP) at Emerald Bio can be applied in moderate sized laboratories. Topics included will be:
Nucleic Acid Ligands with Modified Nucleotides: First 3D Structures of a New Class of Versatile Affinity Reagents
September 18, 2012
Abstract: Selection of aptamers from nucleic acid libraries by in vitro evolution represents a powerful method of identifying high-affinity ligands for a broad range of molecular targets. Nevertheless, a sizeable fraction of proteins remain difficult targets due to inherently limited chemical diversity of nucleic acids. SomaLogic, Inc. has exploited synthetic nucleotide modifications that confer protein-like diversity on a nucleic acid scaffold, resulting in a new generation of binding reagents called SOMAmers (Slow Off-rate Modified Aptamers). This webinar will describe how Emerald Bio elucidated the first publically released crystal structures of SOMAmers bound to a protein target. The SOMAmers fold into a compact structure and exhibit a hydrophobic binding surface that mimics the interface between the protein target and its natural receptor, contrasting sharply with polar interactions seen in traditional protein-binding aptamers. Through incorporation of hydrophobic chemical groups, the modified nucleotides circumvent the intrinsic diversity constraints of natural nucleic acids, thereby greatly expanding the structural vocabulary of nucleic acid ligands. Techniques for increasing the probability of success for nucleic acid aptamer crystallography will also be discussed.
Registration information will be provided soon.
Emerald Bio Structural Biologists Team with Tetra Discovery Partners, Receiving NIH Funding for Alzheimer’s Disease Research
Emerald Bio is collaborating with Tetra Discovery Partners to enable the discovery of modulators of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. As noted in Tetra’s recent press release, the project was recently awarded $1.5 million in direct funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and up to $10 million in total for the five year period. Tetra is one of the first non-academic companies to be awarded funds through the NIH’s Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network (BPN). Emerald’s Chief Scientific Officer Alex Burgin is a key member of the research team and Emerald will be providing structural biology services throughout the five year support period. Dr. Burgin is a well recognized expert in the phosphodiesterase field, and was first author on a ground-breaking Nature Biotechnology paper reporting the discovery and co-crystal structure of the first allosteric modulators of PDE4. “Our ability to access Emerald’s structural biology insights are an important factor in the continued success of Tetra’s efforts to find drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease,” said Mark Gurney, Tetra’s founder and President.
Crystal Ready™: New Releases
We’ve added four new structures to our Crystal Ready list, so if these targets are on your hot list we can quickly provide you with structural insights on how your compounds bind:
Alcohol dehydrogenase 1B: under study in alcohol dependency.
Bcl-6: implicated in a variety of tumor cancers as well as some auto-immune diseases.
Carbonyl reductase 1: a protein whose expression levels are implicated in several diseases including some cancers.
IDH1 (R132H): the discovery of somatic mutations in the isocitrate dehydrogenase gene has brought new attention to this emerging cancer target, which is also proposed to be a candidate biomarker in certain malignancies.
Contact us today for a quote to co-crystallize your compounds with these or any of our other Crystal Ready targets!
Join Us in Boston at the American Crystallographic Association Meeting
We'll be attending the American Crystallographic Association 2012 Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts July 28-August 1 with two scientific presentations. Doug Davies will be presenting a talk on July 30th in the "Exciting Structures" session entitled “The First Structure of a Modified-Nucleotide DNA Aptamer In Complex With A Protein Target” featuring work done in collaboration with SomaLogic. Also at ACA on July 29, Tom Edwards will be presenting a talk in the Protein Structure Initiative: More Tools for the Home Lab session entitled “SAD Phasing Using Iodide Ions in a High-Throughput Structural Genomics Environment“. You can also meet our CSO, Alex Burgin, and other Emerald Bio team members at booth #409 in the exhibit hall so come on by—we’d love to chat about your needs in protein science.
Meet With Us in San Francisco at the Fragment-based Lead Discovery Conference
Emerald scientists will be attending this year’s Fragment-based Lead Discovery (FBLD) Conference September 23-26 in San Francisco with a talk and a poster featuring different aspects of our fragment screening services. Darren Begley, Ph.D., Group Leader, Biophysics will be presenting a talk entitled “Multi-Target Fragment Screening & Structure Determination in the MEP Pathway”, featuring NMR-based fragment screens on four targets (IspC, IspD, IspE and IspF) from several pathogenic organisms. Fragment library design is the topic for a poster by Doug R. Davies, Ph.D., Senior Project Manager in his poster “Expanding the Fragments of Life Library using RECAP-Assisted Fragmentation of The Human Metabolome Database”. The fragment design work was done in collaboration with our colleagues at HQL Pharmaceuticals.
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