Allele Biotechnology Announces New advance in production of human stem cells

This week in the journal Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group) scientists from Allele Biotechnology describe an important advance in the generation of stem cells capable of producing all the different tissues of the human body. In an article entitled “Feeder-Free Derivation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells with Messenger RNA,” Allele’s scientists present the fastest and safest method yet for converting ordinary human skin cells into “induced pluripotent stem cells” (iPSCs).

The scientific efforts were led by Dr. Luigi Warren, whose pioneering work on “footprint-free” reprogramming using messenger RNA was the foundation for Allele’s breakthrough. Through the united efforts of Dr. Warren and the scientists at Allele Biotechnology, his technique was re-engineered to increase cell conversion efficiency and eliminate any use of potentially unsafe reagents, while substantially reducing the time and effort needed to make stem cells. Dr. Warren believes that because of its advantages this technology “should become the method of choice for iPSC cell banking.”

According to Dr. Jiwu Wang, corresponding author on the paper and CEO of Allele Biotechnology, “This advance in stem cell derivation will enable both fundamental scientific research and clinical applications which has been the mission of Allele Biotechnology from its inception.”

Allele Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a San Diego-based biotechnology company that was established in 1999 by Dr. Jiwu Wang and colleagues. A research based company specializing in the fields of RNAi, stem cells, viral expression, camelid antibodies and fluorescent proteins; Allele Biotechnology has always striven to offer products and services at the cutting edge of research.

Allele Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Jiwu Wang, Ph.D., 858-587-6645 Ext 3
President and CEO
fax: 858-587-6692
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Immunoprecipitation Tags

Immunoprecipitation is a process of isolating a protein as an antigen by using antibodies against it. It is a powerful tool for studying proteins in biological samples and, in case of Co-IP (meaning immunoprecipitation of complexes containing a known antigen), for analyzing protein-protein interactions. Similar technologies such as chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), RNA immunoprecipitation (RIP), or crosslinked and iImmunoprecipitation of RNA-protein complexes (CLIP) aid analysis of protein-DNA or protein-RNA interactions.

The major obstacle for achieving effective immunoprecipitation is the difficulty of finding usable antibodies against a target of interest. A common practice is to use tags that are fused to the C- or N-terminus of the target protein, thereby any validated, commercially available antibody can be used for co-IP in different experimental systems. However, caution must be exercised against potential interference of biological functions from the added tags. In general, one should choose tags that have been tested in many situations and proven non-interfering; still, each biological system is different. Independent validation or supporting data should be used when interpreting results from tag-based co-IP.

Tags are often selected based on high quality and commercially available antibodies. Most commonly used tags include: FLAG, Myc, HA, V5, T7, and His, which are quite small in size and in theory less likely to interfere. GST and GFP are in between 20-30kDa, but they are well documented to form self-contained and stable structures independent of their fusion partners and proved to not interfere in many cases. GST can bind to glutathione beads directly, therefore a top choice for pulldown experiments. GFP or other FPs as tags have the advantages of being also a visualization module to follow the protein both inside cells and during pulldown. However, previously available anti-GFP antibodies, either polyclonal or monoclonal, are not comparable to those against other tags, thereby limiting the use of GFP as fusion tag in pulldown experiments.

GFP-Trap, a recent addition to anti-tag antibodies, is an E. coli expressed, single domain fragment derived from camelid heavy chain antibodies (VHH antibodies) with much higher stability, specificity, and affinity, making GFP based pulldown quantitative. This recent advancement should make GFP in line to become the most suitable tags for many aforementioned precipitation experiments.

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