DC Biosciences provides pharmaceutical and biotech companies with novel technologies and proteomics services to accelerate the development of safer drugs. We are best placed to apply our knowledge and experience in a wide range of bioscience disciplines including quantitative proteomics, chemical biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, bioinformatics and cell biology to provide solutions in key areas of drug discovery and development.
Between 2006 and 2016 DC Biosciences Ltd operated as Dundee Cell Products Ltd (DCP). DCP was founded in 2006 as a spin-out of the internationally renowned School of Life Sciences of the University of Dundee by Professor Angus Lamond (Lamond Lab). Since spin-out the company has developed close interactions with researchers across a number of internationally acclaimed institution and research organisations.
In 2007 and again in 2009 the company secured equity investment funding from a syndicate of angel investors and the Scottish Co-investment Fund to finance and expand its activities. Today, DC Bioscience is recognised as a leading global player in proteomics services and molecular biology.
Mass-spectrometry based proteomics is a young, diverse, ever evolving and expanding field. Every month sees the release of innovative techniques to tackle new biological problems, improvements in sample handling or labelling, or – more rarely – new instruments with increased versatility or performance. We cannot cover all of the variant approaches available here, but as a service company, we constantly strive to improve to meet your requirements.
Whether you have a brilliant idea for a proteomics experiment, you read a paper with a clever trick, or you want to perform a particular MS experiment but don’t know where to start – just get in touch. There is a very good chance we can do it. And if we can’t yet, we can probably learn very quickly.
So get in touch with our motivated experts, we always enjoy a good challenge!
DC Biosciences PTM services enable you to answer your questions about Post-Translational Modifications.
Post-Translational Modifications (PTMs) are an often overlooked dimension of proteomics, yet they have a huge impact on protein function.
MS analysis of PTMs usually relies on specific sample enrichment.
The diversity and relative rarity of modified peptides make them difficult to study. In addition, unraveling complex modifications, such as glycosylation or ubiquitinylation, can be challenging. Since “bottom-up” proteomics relies on sample digestion into peptides, it can also be difficult to identify the relationships between different modified sites on the same protein.
PTM detection by MS is improved by selectively enriching for modified peptides or proteins using a variety of methods (affinity resins, chromatography etc.). The PTM-enriched fraction is then analysed separately from the flow-through or the non-enriched sample.
Importantly, when analysing MS data, PTMs which are not searched for will not be identified. Including too many modifications in a search can increase the false discovery rate while slowing down the search. It is therefore important to think carefully about which modifications to search for.
The most-studied PTMs are phosphorylation, ubiquitinylation (and modification by ubiquitin-like proteins) and the varied types of glycosylation. Others, such as hydroxylation are emerging as new research foci.
Affinity pull-downs are one of the most common types of experiments performed in the laboratory. Combining such experiments with MS can be challenging but it is a very powerful approach for studying protein interactions.
Understanding protein-protein interactions in biological pathways is an essential part of the overall comprehension of all biological processes. Mass-spectrometry proteomics is a powerful tool for analysis of interactomes. Unlike WB analysis it can identify all proteins purified in an unbiased way. This can present disadvantages as contaminants can become a serious challenge.
Although some analyses can be performed on unlabelled samples, SILAC labelling can greatly improve data quality and help identify contaminants in Affinity Pull-Down experiments.DC Biosciences offer a range of Pull-Down experiments, from variants of Immuno-Precipitations to so-called “proximity proteomics”. Our experts will accompany you from experiment design to completion, helping you avoid the many pitfalls of Pull-Down MS analysis. We will ensure you are able to extract the greatest possible value from your data.
Why be content with qualitative data when you can get quantitative? DC Biosciences offer the most commonly used Relative Quantitation methods: SILAC and Isobaric Labelling.
MS Proteomics is reputed to only offer semi-quantitative solutions. Label-free absolute quantitation can be relatively error-prone due to the unpredictable peptide detectability in a specific workflow. Variant methods based on Isotopic Labelling are available for accurate relative quantitation.
The main variants used are:
– SILAC, a metabolic labelling based method.
– TMT and iTRAQ, two variants of Isobaric Labelling, a chemical labelling method.
The specificities, strengths and weaknesses of each method are summarised in the adjacent diagram.
Mass-spectrometry based Protein Identification methods available from DC Biosciences.
Because individual proteins are large molecules, they generate complex isotopic envelopes in MS analysis. Thus, it is better to digest complex protein mixtures into smaller peptides, which can then be fragmented to generate MS2 spectra. This strategy is called “bottom-up” proteomics.
Since MS2 spectra can rarely be fully sequenced into parent peptides, database searching is then used to convert them into expected peptide sequences. De novo sequencing is still required in the rare event that expected protein sequences are unknown.
To enhance the fidelity of peptide-spectrum-matching it is considered good practice to observe at least 2 different peptides for a protein to be identified with confidence.
For low-complexity samples – such as when checking the purity of an isolated protein – it is possible to work with intact proteins.
Our Protein Production service covers everything from trial purification of novel or experimental sequences for generation of custom antibodies, lab reagent-scale preps to large scale expression of isotope-labelled proteins for NMR and other structural analyses. We use either your vectors or those developed by our custom cloning service to perform pilot and scale-up expression.
Purification can be undertaken by a variety of chromatographic chemistries both manually (experimental production) and using automated AKTA FPLC equipment for more routine preps. Depending on your requirements, protein can be evaluated by SDS-PAGE, MS/MS, assay for endotoxin content and any other pertinent method.
DC Biosciences has an excellent reputation for delivering high quality custom-made antibodies. To support the antibody production in various application areas, we are able to offer comprehensive services: from gene synthesis to protein expression and purification or peptide synthesis. We have a success rate in both monoclonal and polyclonal antibody projects greater than 95%.
DC Biosciences offers synthesis of custom peptides with a huge range of sequence lengths, purities, scales and modifications:
DC Biosciences provides a high quality, fast turnaround and cost-effective stable cell line generation service for research, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Our service is:
We can assist our clients with our Molecular Biology Service to achieve quality cloning and/or subcloning of DNA constructs for generating the stable cell line, and save substantial time for other research efforts.
OUR SERVICE INCLUDES
- Expansion of host mammalian cells and death curve determination to establish the appropriate concentration of antibiotic required for the selection of transfected cells
- Evaluation and optimisation of transfection conditions in the proposed target cell line using a range of transfection reagents and ratios of a GFP-expressing plasmid
- Transfection of cell line with expression vector of choice
- Selection of an appropriate number of single clones (25-50) for clonal expansion
- Verification of expression of target by western blot or PCR
Our Molecular Biology service covers everything from DNA to Protein with a big emphasis on value for money. We undertake Gene Synthesis and Cloning, engineering of custom vectors and application of these vectors for Protein Production. Where necessary, we provide guidance and advice as part of project conception in partnership with you. We aim to implement your projects in a time-efficient and cost-effective way as if we worked within your laboratory team.
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