, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 259-267
Date: 09 Nov 2005

Towards miniaturization of a structural genomics pipeline using micro-expression and microcoil NMR

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In structural genomics centers, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) screening is in increasing use as a tool to identify folded proteins that are promising targets for three-dimensional structure determination by X-ray crystallography or NMR spectroscopy. The use of 1D 1H NMR spectra or 2D [1H,15N]-correlation spectroscopy (COSY) typically requires milligram quantities of unlabeled or isotope-labeled protein, respectively. Here, we outline ways towards miniaturization of a structural genomics pipeline with NMR screening for folded globular proteins, using a high-density micro-fermentation device and a microcoil NMR probe. The proteins are micro-expressed in unlabeled or isotope-labeled media, purified, and then subjected to 1D 1H NMR and/or 2D [1H,15N]-COSY screening. To demonstrate that the miniaturization is functioning effectively, we processed nine mouse homologue protein targets and compared the results with those from the “macro-scale” Joint Center of Structural Genomics (JCSG) high-throughput pipeline. The results from the two pipelines were comparable, illustrating that the data were not compromised in the miniaturized approach.