The DICP Research Group No. 1809, led by Prof. Hanfa Zou, in collaboration with the research team of Proteomics Research Center of the Netherlands and headed by Prof. Albert Heck, has carried out a systematic evaluation on the new generation Immobilized Metal Affinity Chromatography (IMAC) technique for the enrichment of phosphopeptides, which was developed by this DICP team. The evaluation results were published in the recent issue of the Nature Protocols (http://www.nature.com/nprot/journal/v8/n3/abs/nprot.2013.010.html).
The new generation IMAC was developed basing on the finding that there exists a specific interaction between the surface of zirconium phosphate or titanium phosphate and the phosphopetides, which was then being utilized to establish the new generation IMAC technique, employing phosphoryls as the chelating ligands. Experimental results have illustrated that this new IMAC has excellent specificity towards the enrichment of phosphopeptides, and non-specific adsorption of acidic peptide segments can be effectively avoided. Comparing with conventional IMAC, the enriching efficiency for phosphopeptides of the new technique is 3 to 10 times higher. Accordingly, the determination sensitivity and appraisal coverage for the analysis of protein phosphorylation are greatly enhanced.
This new type of IMAC enrichment technique is fully proprietary with DICP, and has obtained a patent licensing from both China and the United States. Also, commercialization assessment is under way in the States.