Proteomics – the study of proteins found in human cells and how they regulate their actions – is one of the most promising areas for developing new therapies for human diseases. It is currently extremely difficult, however, to carry out proteomic research on mouse models, the mainstay of most other forms of biomedical research, due to the small volumes of blood that can be sampled from live animals.
MRM Proteomics, Inc., and the University of Victoria – Genome BC Proteomics Centre are together developing new tools that will enable researchers to use mouse models for proteomics research. The tools are based on multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (MRM-MS) and consist of assays (or tests) that allow researchers to measure the concentration of individual proteins in mouse plasma. The MRM-MS technique is highly sensitive, making it compatible with very low sample volumes such as those obtained from individual mice. Three new products will be developed: a complete assay to quantify the 500 most abundant proteins in mouse plasma as a service offering; three kits for disease biomarker proteins, one each for discovery research, oncology and cardiovascular diseases; and two kits for quality control of mouse plasma proteomics experiments. All three will be delivered to customers ready to use, and adapted for use with instruments from different manufacturers.
Currently, there are no assay kits for mice that companies can use in their own facilities and feworganizations offer mouse proteomics assay services. With its new tools, MRM Proteomics, which is already known for its human proteomics MRM-MS assays and kits, will strengthen Canada’s leading position and competitiveness in biomedical research and proteomics. The mouse kits could generate $8.4 million within five years after completing the project, with increasing sales thereafter, leading to increased staffing for both MRM and the Proteomics Centre