Proteomics study to investigate plasma proteins in 53,000 participants
Next-generation sequencing will be employed to study 1,500 plasma proteins in participants, according to UK Biobank.
UK Biobank has announced that a consortium of 10 biopharmaceutical companies will perform a proteomics study to measure circulating concentrations of almost 1,500 plasma proteins in approximately 53,000 participants.
According to UK Biobank, the Pharma Proteomics Project will be one of the world’s largest studies of blood protein concentrations conducted to date and aims to significantly enhance the field of proteomics, enabling better understanding of disease processes and supporting innovative drug development.
Over the last few years, UK Biobank has made de-identified genetic data on its 500,000 participants available to scientists in order to identify potential DNA hotspots associated with human diseases. The measurement of a wide range of circulating proteins represents the next major step, as these data will enable research into the association between genetic variation and circulating protein levels, which in turn, will help to understand the links between genetics and human disease. According to UK Biobank, studying the levels of many different proteins in participants will allow scientists to assess the extent to which particular proteins are involved in the development or progression of different diseases.
The laboratory work to measure the proteins will be conducted by Olink, using its proprietary next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, which combines high-throughput and high-quality protein-level data from very small sample volumes. The platform combines the specificity of paired antibody binding with attached DNA-oligos to transform a protein measuring challenge to a digital DNA counting solution.
The resulting de-identified dataset will be added to the UK Biobank research resource and, after an initial nine-month exclusivity period for the companies funding the assays, made available to all approved researchers.
“Measuring protein levels in the blood is crucial to understanding the link between genetic factors and the development of common life-threatening diseases. With data on genetic, imaging, lifestyle factors and health outcomes over many years, this will be the largest proteomic study in the world to be shared as a global scientific resource. These combined data could enable researchers to make novel scientific discoveries about how circulating proteins influence our health, and to better understand the link between genetics and human disease,” said Professor Naomi Allen, Chief Scientist of UK Biobank.