The aim of AFFINOMICS is to initiate the generation of a proteome-wide collection of affinity reagents (binders). The project integrates the expertise and technologies available in leading European centres in order to create an efficient pipeline for target and binder production, validation and quality control. As well as including the classically raised polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies, the AFFINOMICS consortium will make a strong effort towards technological improvements in molecular selection systems for recombinant binder formats, aiming to increase throughput and reduce cost. It will also put into practice novel technologies for affinity proteomics, applying binders in high throughput, sensitive, specific protein detection and structure/function determination of protein complexes.
Key objectives of AFFINOMICS:

  • To enable systematic and rapid production of large sets of well-characterised, validated antibodies and other protein binders to meet the expanding demands to phenotype the human proteome.
  • To develop and implement novel concepts in automated methods for high throughput recombinant binder production.
  • To develop stringent and uniform quality control methods assuring high binder quality.
  • To use binders to study the functional proteomics of signal transduction pathways and cancer-related proteins, particularly protein-protein interactions and complexes involving protein kinases, tyrosine phosphatases and SH2-domain proteins.
  • To develop application tools for characterisation of binders and proteins and to use them to analyse potential disease biomarkers representing individual or functional complexes of proteins in normal and clinical samples.
  • To establish procedures and logistics for access to laboratory protocols and sets of binders through databases.

Key deliverables of AFFINOMICS will include:

  • Physical resources of validated binders and their antigens (Work Packages 1,2)
  • Standards and protocols for quality control procedures (Work Package 3)
  • Recombinant production facilities and systems capable of the throughput required to expand to a future proteomic scale (Work Package 4)
  • Novel binder-based tools and technologies for both extracellular and intracellular protein detection and functional analysis (Work Package 5)
  • Data on molecular profiling of signalling pathways, cancer related gene products and biomarkers (Work Package 6)
  • Publicly accessible database portals (Work Package 7)