Emerging tools for real-time label-free detection of interactions on functional protein microarrays

Authors

  • Niroshan Ramachandran,

    1. Harvard Institute of Proteomics, Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, USA
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  • Dale N. Larson,

    1. Technology & Engineering Center, Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
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  • Peter R. H. Stark,

    1. Technology & Engineering Center, Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
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  • Eugenie Hainsworth,

    1. Harvard Institute of Proteomics, Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, USA
    2. Technology & Engineering Center, Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
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  • Joshua LaBaer

    1. Harvard Institute of Proteomics, Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, USA
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J. LaBaer, Harvard Institute of Proteomics, Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, 320 Charles Street, Cambridge, MA 02141, USA
Fax: 617 324 0824
Tel: 617 324 0827
E-mail: josh@hms.harvard.edu

Abstract

The availability of extensive genomic information and content has spawned an era of high-throughput screening that is generating large sets of functional genomic data. In particular, the need to understand the biochemical wiring within a cell has introduced novel approaches to map the intricate networks of biological interactions arising from the interactions of proteins. The current technologies for assaying protein interactions – yeast two-hybrid and immunoprecipitation with mass spectrometric detection – have met with considerable success. However, the parallel use of these approaches has identified only a small fraction of physiologically relevant interactions among proteins, neglecting all nonprotein interactions, such as with metabolites, lipids, DNA and small molecules. This highlights the need for further development of proteome scale technologies that enable the study of protein function. Here we discuss recent advances in high-throughput technologies for displaying proteins on functional protein microarrays and the real-time label-free detection of interactions using probes of the local index of refraction, carbon nanotubes and nanowires, or microelectromechanical systems cantilevers. The combination of these technologies will facilitate the large-scale study of protein interactions with proteins as well as with other biomolecules.

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