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News

Princeton University deploys mass spectrometer to investigate virus-host protein interactions

Thermo Fisher Scientific Mass Spectrometry : 18 August, 2008  (Application Story)
Princeton University is utilizing the new MALDI LTQ Orbitrap XL mass spectrometer from Thermo Fisher Scientific for research on virus-host protein interactions in the laboratory of Ileana Cristea, PhD
Dr Cristea's cutting-edge work on chromatin and its modulation by viruses promises to further scientists' understanding about how viruses manipulate their host to their advantage. The laboratory employs a multidisciplinary approach, incorporating methodologies from modern proteomics, biochemistry, molecular biology and virology. The research, while preliminary, holds implications for improved therapies for the treatment of viral infections, from the common cold to HIV.

Because the samples required for the studies are difficult to obtain and the elements of interest are frequently present at low levels, Dr Cristea began exploring the benefits of combining MALDI with state-of-the-art mass spectrometry (MS) instrumentation. Interested in novel MS developments, she believed there would be significant benefit with the integration of the Thermo Scientific LTQ Orbitrap with a MALDI interface.

'I am quite impressed that I have in my laboratory the first configuration of its kind in the MALDI LTQ Orbitrap XL,' said Dr Cristea, assistant professor with Princeton University's Department of Molecular Biology. 'Its performance has already proven to be terrific. This instrument combines the robustness and high throughput capabilities of MALDI with the sensitivity of the linear trap and the high mass accuracy and resolution of the Orbitrap. The MALDI LTQ Orbitrap XL is perfectly suited for characterizing protein complexes. After the initial MS and MS/MS analyses and identifications, the samples can be preserved on the MALDI target to pursue new interesting directions revealed by the first analyses.'

The MALDI option is available for both the LTQ Orbitrap Discovery and LTQ Orbitrap XL platforms. The addition of the new MALDI source on the LTQ Orbitrap is suited for proteomics and metabolism applications, making it easier to analyze biological and polymer samples without extensive sample preparation. Other applications include high-throughput in-gel digest, de novo sequencing, quantitation based on isobaric labeling strategies (TMT Tags, iTRAQ), tissue imaging and small molecule analysis.
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