LabEx Medalis


Project leader: Dr Alain Wagner


The term “chemical proteomics” refers to a research area at the interface of chemistry, biochemistry, and cell biology that focuses on studying the mechanism of action of bioactive small molecule compounds, which comprises the mapping of their target proteins and their impact on protein expression and posttranslational modifications in target cells or tissues of interest on a proteome-wide level.

These approaches can be broadly categorized into two types:

  • global proteomics strategies, directed at a cell-wide characterization of cellular response to the small molecule, for instance with respect to protein expression levels or defined post-translational modifications;
  • targeted chemoproteomic approaches such as activity- or affinity-based target profiling, employing chemical probes engineered to capture protein targets, or entire sub-proteomes.

Recent advances have promoted new drug discovery strategies based on assays with increased content and better appreciation of the molecular context in which protein targets operate. However current techniques suffer from several drawbacks such as low sensitivity for weakly expressed proteins, high background signal due to inefficient separation methods, and slow throughput. Thus, chemical proteomics studies at the single-cell level are currently impossible.

To overcome these drawbacks and anticipate the need of an ultra-fast and reliable technique allowing for extraction and purification of protein content in a dynamic cellular system, we herein propose the development of a microfluidic strategy combining innovative chemical linkers to a cellular fluorescent mosaic GCS system integrating above mentioned constraints: single cells and/or rare population analysis, and dynamic intervention using various stimuli.

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