SPOC – Protein Kinetics at Scale

Proteins are the workhorses of our body and are at the heart of biology – driving all cellular functions which determine whether we are in a state of health or disease. Proteomics is the study of the entire set of proteins present in a specific cell, tissue, or organism, including their structures, functions, and interactions. Proteomics is the heart of what we do at SPOC Proteomics. Studying entire sets of proteins in high-throughput requires:

  1. Producing and purifying thousands of functional proteins individually, in an affordable manner.
  2. A method to measure protein interactions that drive biological function.

Sensor-integrated proteome on chip (SPOC) technology was developed to integrate both features above into a single, user-friendly platform. SPOC chips contain thousands of proteins on a single 1.5 cm2 chip using our proprietary production method which eliminates expensive, cumbersome, and time-consuming recombinant protein production and purification workflows. SPOC production method effectively reduces the cost of large-scale proteomic assays by 10-100x.

Uniquely, our data collection technique provides qualitative, quantitative, and kinetic data for each of the thousands of proteins on the biosensor chip simultaneously, yet individually, by using a technique called surface plasmon resonance. No other proteomic platform on the market today offers kinetic data at this scale.

Why kinetics matters

Protein-protein interactions define cellular behaviors, and aberrations in these interactions are often the cause of disease. Oftentimes, genetic mutations result in alterations in protein structure which ultimately changes the protein’s function, and therefore, it’s binding interactions.

SPOC is the only proteomics platform capable of measuring the kinetics of these binding interactions. End-point assays, such as fluorescence, are qualitative (binding or no binding). SPOC can discriminate small changes in binding interactions caused by mutations by measuring alterations in the kinetic profile of the interaction in real-time. The small changes may have a large impact in the cell’s function, ultimately causing diseases such as cancer or autoimmunity, or change the way a pathogen behaves such as determining whether the immune system controls the infection or the pathogen prevails.