Journal of Cellular and Molecular Biology Research

DNA Contamination

A protein microarray (or protein chip) is a high-throughput method used to track the interactions and activities of proteins, and to determine their function, and determining function on a large scale. Its main advantage lies in the fact that large numbers of proteins can be tracked in parallel. The chip consists of a support surface such as a glass slide, nitrocellulose membrane, bead, or microtitre plate, to which an array of capture proteins is bound. Probe molecules, typically labeled with a fluorescent dye, are added to the array. Any reaction between the probe and the immobilised protein emits a fluorescent signal that is read by a laser scanner. Protein microarrays are rapid, automated, economical, and highly sensitive, consuming small quantities of samples and reagents. The concept and methodology of protein microarrays was first introduced and illustrated in antibody microarrays (also referred to as antibody matrix) in 1983 in a scientific publication and a series of patents. The high-throughput technology behind the protein microarray was relatively easy to develop since it is based on the technology developed for DNA microarrays, which have become the most widely used microarrays. Protein microarrays were developed due to the limitations of using DNA microarrays for determining gene expression levels in proteomics. The quantity of mRNA in the cell often doesn't reflect the expression levels of the proteins they correspond to. Since it is usually the protein, rather than the mRNA, that has the functional role in cell response, a novel approach was needed. Additionally post-translational modifications, which are often critical for determining protein function, are not visible on DNA microarrays. Protein microarrays replace traditional proteomics techniques such as 2D gel electrophoresis or chromatography, which were time-consuming, labor-intensive and ill-suited for the analysis of low abundant proteins

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