U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

SC Investigator’s New Approach to Capturing Multiprotein Complexes Highlighted in Journal of Proteome Research
Published: June 16, 2008
Posted: June 20, 2008

A LBNL project led by Dr. Mark Biggin has developed an enhanced approach to rapidly separate intact multiprotein complexes from cells. These multiprotein complexes, often called molecular machines, play critical roles in every aspect of the biochemistry of the cell but are often difficult to isolate and study intact. Traditionally, these complexes are captured using biological tags that are genetically and laboriously inserted into different proteins in the complex one at a time. The new approach eliminates the need for these tags. The “tagless” approach involves removing the cell’s soluble content followed by several gentle chromatographic steps that leave the complexes intact. The complexes are separated from one another based on properties such as electric charge and molecular weight. At the end of the process there is a high probability that only one complex is clustered in one or a small number of related fractions. Mass spectrometry is used to confirm the identity of the proteins. The separation approach is being automated, providing researchers with a new tool to rapidly determine how these complexes and their associated biological processes change in a microbe or a plant exposed to different environmental conditions or genetic modifications. This work was highlighted in the Journal of Proteome Research.

Contact: Arthur Katz, SC-23.2, (301) 903-4932
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Research Technologies and Methodologies

Division: SC-23.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER
      (formerly SC-23.2 Medical Sciences Division, OBER)


BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

May 10, 2019
Quantifying Decision Uncertainty in Water Management via a Coupled Agent-Based Model
Considering risk perception can improve the representation of human decision-making processes in age [more...]

May 09, 2019
Projecting Global Urban Area Growth Through 2100 Based on Historical Time Series Data and Future Scenarios
Study provides country-specific urban area growth models and the first dataset on country-level urba [more...]

May 05, 2019
Calibrating Building Energy Demand Models to Refine Long-Term Energy Planning
A new, flexible calibration approach improved model accuracy in capturing year-to-year changes in bu [more...]

May 03, 2019
Calibration and Uncertainty Analysis of Demeter for Better Downscaling of Global Land Use and Land Cover Projections
Researchers improved the Demeter model’s performance by calibrating key parameters and establi [more...]

Apr 22, 2019
Representation of U.S. Warm Temperature Extremes in Global Climate Model Ensembles
Representation of warm temperature events varies considerably among global climate models, which has [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)