Strategies for the identification and purification of ligands for orphan biomolecules
Nice, E; Catimel, B; Lackmann, M; Stacker, S; Runting, A; Wilks, A; Nicola, N; Burgess, A
LETTERS IN PEPTIDE SCIENCE
The isolation of related genes with evolutionary conserved motifs by the application of polymerase chain reaction-based molecular biology techniques, or from database searching strategies, has facilitated the identification of new members of protein families. Many of these protein molecules will be involved in protein-protein interactions (e.g. growth factors, receptors, adhesion molecules), since such interactions are intrinsic to virtually every cellular process. However, the precise biological function and specific binding partners of these novel proteins are frequently unknown, hence they are known as 'orphan' molecules. Complementary technologies are required for the identification of the specific ligands or receptors for these and other orphan proteins (e.g., antibodies raised against crude biological extracts or whole cells). We describe herein several alternative strategies for the identification, purification and characterisation of orphan peptide and protein molecules, specifically the synergistic use of micropreparative HPLC and biosensor techniques.