Our Quantifiable Functional Proteomics (QF-Pro®) platform enables the development of assays to precisely quantify protein-protein interactions (PPIs) and protein post-translational modifications (PTMs) in patient pathology samples and single cell experiments
Unlike competing technologies, such as the proximity ligation assay (PLA) or colocalisation experiments, QF-Pro® precisely measures events at a ≤10nm resolutions. Quantifications at this resolution mechanistically confirms the occurrence of these cellular signalling events. Moreover, QF-Pro® also removes artifacts created by non-specific antibody binding events and provides a mapping of biomarker functionality within preserved samples. Critically, the time of running a QF-Pro® labelling assay is identical to that of standard IHC/IF.
Currently, HAWK Biosystems offer three class of assays, each with a set of pre-validated biomarkers.
Our intracellular PTM assay reports on the functional activation state of intracellular biomarkers by detecting biomarker PTMs such as phosphorylation, methylation, glycosylation, or acetylation. This allows for the detection of biomarker function within a cell or tissue which can in turn be used to guide drug development or therapeutic prescription.
Our intracellular PPI assays detect and quantify the interaction or complex formation of different intracellular targets. These targets are typical protein-protein interactions, but may also include lipid-lipid, lipid-protein, or protein-DNA interactions.
Our intercellular PPI assays quantify interactions between cells, such as receptor-ligand interactions, with a prominent focus in the domain of immune checkpoints. Our assay detects cell-surface interactions in-situ without cell permeabilisation.
Our Current Portfolio
- PD-1/PD-L1 interaction state (validated in renal cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma and NSCLC)
- CTLA-4/CD80 interaction state (validated in cell models and colorectal lung metastases)
- TGIT/CD155 (validated in cell models)
- Akt/PKB activation state (validated in breast cancer, head and neck cancer and clear cell renal cell carcinoma)
- STAT3 activation state (validated in clear cell renal cell carcinoma)
- Wnt activation state (validated in cell models)
- HER2-HER3 dimerisation (validated in cell models)
- Akt/PKB-PDK1 interaction (validated in cell models)
If you would like to investigate a biomarker which is not in our currently portfolio, head to Partnerships to see how we can design a custom biomarker solution for you.
How QF-Pro® works
The QF-Pro® assays are based on a smart proprietary adaptation of Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) that for the first time enables a reliable and robust use of this technique in pathology samples, due to its unprecedented signal to noise ratio.
In conjunction, we use a two-site labelling approach, which either detects two separate targets, or two residues, on a single target. We then quantify distances between the two sites, which acts to determine the functionality of a biomarker within a sample. Moreover, the in-situ nature of QF-Pro® allows tissue architecture and morphology to be preserved in a sample.
In conclusion, for the first time, QF-Pro® provides a robust and reproducible means to quantify and map these functional biomarker events in the Tumour Microenvironment (TME) at an unprecedented level of specificity and sensitivity.