PROBE participates in numerous research projects every year, both as a service provider, a research partner, or a project leader.

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The Multiple Sclerosis Biomarker Project

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disabling disease of the central nervous system with largely unknown cause and pathogenesis. There is a general lack of available biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment prediction. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential to slow down progressive deterioration and accumulation of disability, and biological markers for early detection of the disease are much needed. In our multiple sclerosis biomarker discovery project, we are using state-of-the-art quantitative proteomics methods to discover and verify disease specific protein biomarkers for multiple sclerosis with potential diagnostic or prognostic value, or biomarkers that can be used to follow treatment efficiency. The proteomics methods that we use in this project are: label-free and iTRAQ semi-quantitative shotgun approaches for biomarker discovery, and selected reaction monitoring for biomarker verification.

Project leader: Frode Berven


Quantitative Proteomics Analysis of Epac

Quantitative proteomic analysis of Epac induced differentiation in human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. Neuroblastoma is a pediatric solid tumor, which is derived from precursor or immature cells of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), and primary tumours can be found at any location of SNS structures. Mutations in the receptor tyrosine kinase ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinase) are the main cause of familial neuroblastoma. Moreover, oncogenic mutations of ALK are also found in primary tumours and in the human neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y. Despite that the noradrenergic SH-SY5Y cell line originates from a highly malignant tumour it has maintained the capacity to undergo neuronal differentiation under proper growth conditions. These characteristics together with a distinct sensitivity to oxidative stress makes the neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell line an excellent model system to study neuronal differentiation and neuroblastoma tumourigenesis, as well as several aspects of neuronal degenerative diseases.

In this project we investigate the role of the exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (Epac) in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. Using both morphological studies and quantitative proteomics, we have found that Epac induces differentiation of human SH-SY5Y cells into a neuronal phenotype.

PROBE's Contact Person: Frode Selheim


Obtaining novel biomedical knowledge from omics research

The amount of data generated in biomedical research has grown exponentially, resulting in new challenges for the analysis of the data, especially regarding how to interpret project specific findings in a larger biomedical context.

At the same time, recent developments in computer science have made it possible to perform large scale analysis and interpretation of increasingly more complex datasets. Together with the rapidly growing amount of biomedical knowledge available in online repositories, this now provides the opportunity to greatly improve the outcome of biomedical research.

The main objective of the Barsnes Group is to combine state-of-the-art bioinformatics research with the current biomedical knowledge, thus building a bridge between project specific high-throughput omics analyses and novel biomedical knowledge.

Project leader: Harald Barsnes