Dr Lewis Francis, a senior lecturer at Swansea University Medical School, recently spoke to SelectScience about the important role that chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) plays in his research. Dr. Francis' research group investigate gynaecological cancers and female infertility, aiming to identify the epigenetic processes that cancer cells use to develop and colonize their local environment prior to metastasis.
One of the key methods used to identify epigenetic marks and modifiers in both the clinical biopsies and in vitro models is ChIP. ChIP followed by downstream-qPCR analysis, for instance, is used to identify modifier proteins interacting with the target genes of interest and their effect on transcription factor binding, while ChIP-seq provides large data sets for genome-wide pattern analysis. Swansea University working in collaboration with NHS partners, has developed a dynamic clinical research environment. Using the most advanced technology in the epigenetics field ensures that all clinical samples are investigated to the highest standard.
In the past, Dr Francis’ research group experienced difficulties with ChIP; unable to yield good quality chromatin and limited sensitivity and selectivity for their investigations. The switch to Chromatrap’s unique solid state ChIP kits allowed the group to succeed in obtaining reproducible measurements from challenging samples and found the impending validation of marks using small tissue biopsies and cell-specific sub-populations from primary culture significantly easier.
“We found that the buffer chemistries employed in these kits were excellent for adequate chromatin extraction. Their small volume and sensitive IP enables selective enrichment of DNA associated with multiple target marks and modifiers for further use in downstream experiments such as qPCR and/or sequencing.” – Dr. Lewis Francis
The epigenetic landscape is complex and widely unexplored. Chromatrap exists to provide researchers with simple, quick and highly sensitive kits that can help them overcome these challenges and further explore cancer-associated epigenetic marks and modifiers in gynaecological cancers. In addition, the availability of Chromatrap kits in a 96-well high throughput format aids the establishment of reproducible assays compatible with processing large sample numbers. This allows for the complex experimental design required for profiling of epigenetic marks over different time points.
Dr. Francis continues to employ the Chromatrap ChIP assays in his lab to explore and translate their epigenetics research into therapeutics for patient benefits. At Chromatrap, we love hearing how our technology has helped research groups advance their epigenetics research.
Find out how Chromatrap’s ChIP kits can help advance your epigenetics research – consult our step-by-step guide to find the right kit for you, or get in touch with our team if you have any further queries about our ChIP kits.