Introduction


Biomedical Proteomics Facility (BPF)
 
Proteomics has become, in recent years, a key genome-wide expression approach in fundamental and applied life sciences. Proteomics is the study of all PROTeins expressed by a genOME—the so-called Proteome. The proteome of a cell is constantly changing, occurring adjustments in the nature and concentration of proteins as well as in their post-translational modifications. After a perturbation (e.g., an environmental aggression), the proteome is altered in order to adapt the cell to the new environmental conditions. The quantitative comparison of the protein expression profile of biological samples, before and after the perturbation, should allow the identification of proteins whose concentration is affected and, consequently, to get insights into the adaptation mechanisms. This field of proteomic analysis is called expression proteomics (as well as quantitative proteomics or comparative proteomics). The most commonly used methodology in this kind of studies involves proteome separation by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE), quantification of the relative abundance of each protein species using specialized software and protein identification by mass spectrometry approaches. Given the current implications and the promising potential of the Proteomics field in all areas of life sciences and clinical practice, teaching proteomics is instrumental to prepare a new generation of scientists to their future challenges. The mission of the UCC Biomedical Proteomic Facility (BPF) is to accelerate discovery by giving investigators access to cutting edge mass spectrometry. This facility focuses on understanding and elucidating the molecular mechanisms behind HIV-1, malignant tumors such as glioma and prostate cancer, co-morbidity between diseases, multiple sclerosis, substance abuse, neurocognitive disorders and searching for the development of biomarkers for early detection of diseases. BPF uses quantitative powerful proteomics approaches for both discovery and targeted proteomic analyses to understand global proteomic dynamics in cells, tissues or organisms. Here at the BPF, we maintain a productive and efficient research laboratory with 3 accessible facilities equipped with instruments that enables isoelectric focusing (IEF), two-dimension polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE), High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), mass spectrometry and bioinformatics for the analysis of proteins. The facility is open to all investigators on collaboration or a fee-for-service basis. User fees will be adjusted depending on demand and to keep costs competitive. Investigators interested in research or collaborations, please refer to Dr. Nawal M Boukli at UCC, department of microbiology and immunology.
 

The Proteomics Core Facility is located at the Pathology Department and the Microbiology and Immunology Department. The facility is equipped with Isoelectric Focusing (IEF), two-dimensional gel electrophoresis   (2D-GE) and two separate data stations dedicated for proteomics data processing, database searching, and generation of reports. Several popular software packages are installed on the data station including PD-quest software and Panthere system. For protein and peptide fractionation, the Facility maintains a Rotafor, Biorad that performs IEF based fractionation in solution.

 

The Proteomics Core Facility is a fee for service facility supported by the RCMI BPF grant. The facility offers service to all researchers in the region, with priority given to users from the UCC. Routine service includes  IEF and 2D-GE electrophoresis molecular weight determination of intact proteins by LC/MS and protein identification through tryptic digestion, LC/MS/MS analysis and database searching.  Samples can be submitted as cells, tissue and lyophilized powders, solutions, or 2D gel spots.  


Sample Requirements:
-Total protein: > 200μg/sample, low salt (< 50 mM), without ionic detergents
-Cells: > 5×10-6 cells/sample, 3x washed and centrifuged, 4°C, pellet flash frozen
-Tissue: >10 mg blood-free tissue, washed by PBS, 4°C, flash frozen

Please refer to the Sample Preparation 2D-GE for detailed information.

The facility also welcomes collaborative research on projects beyond routine services. Please contact the facility director Dr. Nawal Boukli to initiate a collaborative research.
 

Contact
Dr. Nawal Boukli
Associate Professor 
Proteomics Facility Director 
Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine 
Department of Microbiology and Immunology 
Room 155. Urb. Santa Juanita Ave. Laurel 
Bayamon, Puerto Rico 00956 
Tels: (787) 798-3001 Ext. 2080 (office)     
        (787) 798-3001 Ext. 2090 (lab)
Fax:  (787) 740-4300 
Email: nawal.boukli@uccaribe.edu