The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Scotland is using 2D protein gel analysis software to identify changes in protein expression associated with immunity to parasitic gastroenteritis, the most commonly diagnosed systemic disease of sheep in the UK.
BBSRC-funded researchers at the school are using Dymension software to analyse 2D gels of protein extracts from the gastrointestinal mucosa of sheep, infected with the parasitic nematode Teladorsagia circumcincta, to identify key proteins involved in the immune exclusion of this, and related parasites. The research could lead to a better understanding of how natural immunity to these parasites occurs and could provide information to help design better vaccines and therapies to prevent this disease.
Dr Jeremy Brown, a Research Fellow at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, said: 'We need to align gels and actively cluster data sets from large groups of animals to look at all the proteins associated with immunity. We have previously used a variety of proteomics software but found these tasks difficult and time consuming to perform. The latest version of Dymension has taken these complicated activities and has nicely simplified them into a workflow method, allowing us to generate our data in a very straightforward and rigorous way.'
Dr Brown added: 'Using Dymension, we've analysed 2D gel images to compare the mucosal proteome from 24 different sheep and have detected 951 different spots, with results across gels being surprisingly consistent. We're in the process of analysing selected spots by MALDI-TOF to identify which proteins are involved in immunity.'