Protein Production Platform (P-CUBE) - Framework 7 Capacities Specific Programme Research Infrastructures
Starting date: 1 April 2009
Duration: 48 months
Total funding: € 6 600 000
Contract no: 227764
Coordinator: Prof. Markus Grütter, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Project web site: www.p-cube.eu
P-CUBE (Infrastructure for Protein Production Platforms) is the first project within the Seventh Framework Program of the EU that brings together research, networking and service activities. The program offers exciting cutting edge technologies in contemporary structural biology and provides a more general access to European users to the most advanced techniques in cloning, expression, protein characterisation and crystallisation free of charge.
It is also the philosophy of P-CUBE to share expertise between the different partner laboratories in order to improve technologies and standardize procedures, with the ultimate aim of disseminating this expertise throughout Europe. World leading European experts in the field of protein expression and production technologies from the University of Zurich, the University of Oxford and the European Molecular Biology Lab share expertise, equipment and their know-how to applicants to ensure smooth workflow
Access to the Advanced Microscopy Platform
The facility at EMBL Heidelberg offers expertise and support to use modern fluorescence / light microscopy techniques. The EMBL Heidelberg platform combines the expertise in protein expression, purification and biophysical characterisation of the EMBL Heidelberg Protein Expression and Purification Core Facility (PEPCore) with the expertise of the Advanced Light Microscopy Facility (ALMF).
Modality of access and work
Users and staff will plan the experiments (e.g. microscope access) and organise the required reagents prior to the visit. EMBL Heidelberg can provide expression vectors for different fluorescent proteins, fluorescence labels, and chemical reagents. At the facility users will be helped to produce material (e.g. protein expression in different cell lines for in vivo analysis, recombinant protein production for in vitro studies, chemical labelling of protein). Subsequently, they will use the appropriate microscopes (fluorescent-correlation spectroscopy (FCS), fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), fluorescence energy transfer (FRET), particle tracking and co-localisation). Users can collect fluorescence data, process and evaluate them using optimal equipment and software under the guidance of highly experienced light microscopists.
An average user will stay 4 weeks (2-8 weeks depending on the problem) to prepare samples, do the light microscopy analysis and process data. In addition, there is the possibility for very few expert users (1-2 per year) with more demanding projects to stay up to three months or repeated visits.
- Expert advice for planning labelling and light microscopy experiments by the two facility heads.
- Technical support and advice by a dedicated (P-CUBE) Scientific Officer specialised in fluorescence labelling and light microscopy technologies.
- Logistic support at the interface of the Structural and Computational Biology and Cell Biology and Biophysics Units at EMBL Heidelberg.