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The Department of Biomedicine

CCBIO seminar: Ulf Landegren

Molecular tools for high performance analyses of proteins and nucleic acids

Ulf Landegren
Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University, Sweden

Future research and medical diagnostics will require highly resolving molecular tools for parallel analyses at levels of nucleic acids and proteins, even at levels of single cells and single molecules. Reagents like padlock, selector, unFold and ExCirc probes from our lab allow analyses of very large numbers of DNA or RNA molecules with high specificity. The assays can be used to image target molecules or to measure molecular composition in solution phase. We are also developing highly specific and sensitive methods for digital detection of tumor-specific mutant sequences in plasma, revealing their origin in tumors from patients with malignant disease, in order to monitor the progress of disease and of therapy.

The above-mentioned techniques for nucleic acid analysis are complemented by our protein detection methods for a fuller understanding of biology. Antibody-based proximity ligation or extension assays yield reporter DNA strands for every detected protein, permitting convenient, highly sensitive recording of target proteins in a sample. In Uppsala alone the method has now been used for millions of high-performance protein determinations in plasma samples from patients and controls. We have also applied the assays to analyze dried blood spots on filter papers for e.g. wellness monitoring or simplified biobanking. The sensitivity of the assays permits multiplex protein measurements even in single cells, complemented by transcription analyses of value for work on a Human Cell Atlas.

Chairperson: Rolf K. Reed <rolf.reed@uib.no>, CCBIO