On 14 January Arjé Brilleman (Director Sales Europe at PamGene) and prof.dr. John Groten (managing director PamGene and part-time professor at Wageningen UR) presented the many possibilities of the PamStation to a broad public of researchers that were gathered in Impulse at Wageningen UR. CAT-AgroFood, shared research facilities of Wageningen UR, recently purchased this instrument and offers its use to researchers of Wageningen UR, as well as to researchers from companies and other knowledge institutes.
Complementary to proteomics technologies
The instrument is a dynamic peptide micro-array that can be used for studying multiple kinase and their activity & inhibition profile and also to assess a full set of co-regulator activity of many nuclear hormone receptors. It has applications in life sciences research, such as food safety, toxicology, agro-biotechnology, molecular biology, epigenetics and systems biology. Kinases and nuclear receptors have key roles in development and homeostasis as well as in many diseases such as obesitas, diabetes and cancer. Arjé showed that the PamStation is unique in his nature and very complementary to the existing technologies used in proteomics research (namely 2D-arrays, mass spectroscopy and Western blot). The peptide activity signals that are retrieved with the PamStation can be used in several ways. One way is to compare activities of blood or tissue samples by comparing the fingerprints of (non)responders. Another way is to elucidate the pathway and the mechanism of action around cell signalling in general and for studying tumor progression and inflammation.
Molecular screening of food ingredients and (agro)chemicals to assess estrogenic activity
During the presentation several results with blood cells, T-cells, yeast and many tumorgenic tissues were presented. One example is how this technology can be used as to assess differential effects of similar classes of compounds on estrogenic activity. This is test appeared to be promising alternative for animal testing where the uterotrophic assay, a test in which rats are used, is conducted for chemical safety testing. Researchers from Wageningen UR and PamGene have demonstrated in 2012 that the PamStation can be used to investigate for many estrogenic compounds their differential effect on coregulator recruitment and this helps to assess precisely mode of actions of suspected compounds and how this contributes to their (anti)estrogenic effects both in vitro, and in vivo.
The presentation also showed many other applications, such as its potential for predicting the therapy response in human volunteers and patients studies, in assessing host-microbe interactions, immuno-modulatory diseases and last, but not least in understanding the effect of active ingredients in cardiovascular diseases.
During the presentation Arjé stressed that the technique is very sensitive and highly susceptible to disturbing factors that might develop during sample preparation. Therefore it is important to follow the correct protocols in the sample preparation. PamGene offers training modules for users of CAT-AgroFood’s PamStation and a community to exchange experiences and how to use these peptide chips in the most efficient way.
Everyone who is interested in using the instrument or who is interested to join the training activities are invited to contact CAT-AgroFood for more information and to assess the feasibility of this unique machine for your research.