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New Tools for Studying Epigenetic Processes Will Aid Drug Developers

By Labmedica International staff writers
Posted on 12 Apr 2011
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Dedicated new products designed to aid investigators studying epigenetic processes or striving to develop drugs for epigenetic targets are now becoming commercially available.

Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene activity that are driven by chemical and enzymatic modifications of the DNA and proteins in chromosomes. Development of tools to study epigenetic processes has been a major project undertaken by PerkinElmer, Inc. (Waltham, MA, USA).

"The development of novel therapies aimed at epigenetic drug targets has intensified over the last several years. PerkinElmer is excited to be in the forefront of this research by introducing a wide range of screening reagents that focus on assay selectivity, sensitivity and speed, factors which researchers indicate are critical requirements,” said Dr. Martina Bielefeld-Sévigny, vice president and general manager of the drug discovery and research reagent solutions group at PerkinElmer.

PerkinElmer's screening assays for epigenetics based on its proprietary homogeneous assay platforms, LANCE Ultra detection assays for peptide substrates and AlphaLISA detection assays for both peptides and full-length proteins. Both platforms lack washing steps and are nonradioactive, antibody-based technologies that offer a unique combination of specificity, sensitivity, dynamic range, and throughput.

PerkinElmer's epigenetic and post-translational screening tools now cover nine different histone markers as well as the p53 tumor suppressor, with more than 15 validated enzyme assays to aid researchers developing novel drug compounds directed against several epigenetic enzymes, such as histone methyltransferases (HMTs), demethylases (HDMs), acetyltransferases (HATs) and deacetylases (HDACs).

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