Section: Application Domains
Knowledge bases for molecular tools
Affinity binders are molecular tools for recognizing protein targets, that play a fundamental in proteomics and clinical diagnostics. Large catalogs of binders from competing technologies (antibodies, DNA/RNA aptamers, artificial scaffolds, etc.) and Europe has set itself the ambitious goal of establishing a comprehensive, characterized and standardized collection of specific binders directed against all individual human proteins, including variant forms and modifications. Despite the central importance of binders, they presently cover only a very small fraction of the proteome, and even though there are many antibodies against some targets (for example, antibodies against p53), there are none against the vast majority of proteins. Moreover, widely accepted standards for binder characterization are virtually nonexistent. Alongside the technical challenges in producing a comprehensive binder resource are significant logistical challenges, related to the variety of producers and the lack of reliable quality control mechanisms. As part of the ProteomeBinders and Affinomics projects, Magnome works to develop knowledge engineering techniques for storing, exploring, and exchanging experimental data used in affinity binder characterization.