DBT to embark on proteomics initiative – Cover Story – Express Pharma Pulse

DBT to embark on proteomics initiative
Jayashree Padmini – New Delhi

In a bid to unlock the hidden potential in proteomics, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has embarked on a five year project at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The Rs 14-crore project, strongly recommended by the Biotech Research and Promotion Committee, is scheduled to take off in two months time, Dr Vinayak, Adviser (Medical), DBT, told Express Pharma Pulse.

The technology employed would be Maldi-Tof, LCMS and DBT is banking on this ambitious project to unravel the mysteries and build up capabilities in proteomics in order to ensure that the country gets maximum return on investment in genomics.

The initial focus would be on human cells to discover and validate novel pharmaceutical targets within the human proteome. The department is also actively pursuing establishing Protein Micro Array, the details of which are yet to be worked out, said Dr Vinayak.

Protein Microarrays play a major role in discovering disease biomarkers for diagnostic applications and identifying and validating new targets and disease pathways for drug discovery and development. DBT has already established DNA Mircoarrays at the National Brain Research Institute, near Delhi and CDFD, Hyderabad. This technology provides for rapid genotyping paving way to accurate diagnosis, custom drug selection, identification of new drug targets & predicting its activity/toxicity profiles and determining pharmacological mechanism.

With the completion of Human Genome Project, the shift in molecular research is towards proteomics and identification of proteins in the body as well as determination of their role in physiological and pathophysiological function. Compared to studies on gene sequence or gene expression alone, the high-throughput identification and quantification of protein expression, as well as studies of protein function and post translational modifications bring the researcher community closer to the actual biology.

Advances in analysis of protein-protein interactions and subcellular protein localization, industrializing protein characterization, and novel approaches to determine protein function heavily contributes in accelerating development of diagnostic & therapeutic tools as well as in prognosis & prevention.