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The NARG has completed in-house testing of all components for this year’s research project. Reagents for a probe-based human β-actin qPCR assay along with matched synthetic RNA and oligo DNA templates will be sent to each participant. Each participating laboratory will run the assay utilizing their chemistry preference and real-time platform. Data will be collected by the NARG and analyzed. Both templates should result in identical 6-log standard curves. The data will give each laboratory a chance to compare their RT-PCR versus PCR-alone technique on this control assay set. We anticipate receiving data from many kinds of chemistries—probe-based and/or SYBR green I. We will also attempt to compare the many different real-time platforms used in the study for accuracy and sensitivity. We will obtain information on how each laboratory analyzed the data set. This alone should provide valuable information on how well different laboratories are performing this technique. The project will be announced soon with a close date for data of December 15, 2004.
The Proteomics Research Group (PRG) belatedly welcomes its newest members: Arnie Falick from the University of California at Berkeley; Brett Phinney from Michigan State University; and Susan Weintraub from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. We also thank outgoing members David Arnott, Mary Ann Gawinowicz, and Kay Speicher for outstanding service and dedication during the last three years.
This year the PRG is conducting a study to evaluate participants’ ability to determine the sequences of peptides de novo. A mixture containing 3–5 pmol each of five synthetic peptides has been distributed to over 100 requesting laboratories. The sequences of the peptides are not present in any public database. Participants were asked to determine the sequence of the peptides, answer a series of questions about how these results were obtained, and return this information by the end of November. Results of the study will be presented at the ABRF ’05 meeting in Savannah. More information about the study as well as current information about the activities of the PRG can be found on the PRG web site at http://www.abrf.org/index.cfm/group.show/Proteomics.34.htm. Results from previous studies, including last year’s PRG 2004: Differentiation of Protein Isoforms and PRG 2003: Phosphorylation Site Determination, can also be found at the PRG web site.
The field of proteomics continues to grow in scope and importance. As a result, it has become increasingly clear that the ABRF community might be better served by one or more additional research groups to address in a timely manner issues that may be beyond the scope of a single Proteomics Research Group. The PRG enthusiastically supports the creation of a new ABRF RG to address the pressing issue of establishing standards for proteomics research. More information will follow as the new research group takes shape.