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Microscale thermophoresis for the Faculty of Bology and Medicine in Lausanne

English title Microscale thermophoresis for the Faculty of Bology and Medicine in Lausanne
Applicant Mayer Andreas
Number 145002
Funding scheme R'EQUIP
Research institution Département de Biochimie Faculté de Biologie et Médecine Université de Lausanne
Institution of higher education University of Lausanne - LA
Main discipline Cellular Biology, Cytology
Start/End 01.12.2012 - 30.11.2013
Approved amount 76'275.00
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All Disciplines (6)

Cellular Biology, Cytology
Experimental Microbiology
Pharmacology, Pharmacy
Immunology, Immunopathology
Experimental Cancer Research

Keywords (1)

Protein interactions, thermophoresis

Lay Summary (German)

Microthermophorese- Instrument für die Fakultät für Biologie und Medizin der Universität Lausanne
Lay summary

Die Fakultät für Biologie und Medizin der Universität Lausanne stellt ihren Forschern zahlreiche zentralisierte Technologieplattformen zur Verfügung, über die neueste Technologien zum gemeinsamen Gebrauch zugänglich gemacht werden. Die Plattformen bieten auch Beratung und Ausbildung zur Nutzung der Geräte. Bisher sind die Möglichkeiten zur Messung von Protein-Interaktionen unzureichend. Angesichts der Tatsache, dass zahlreiche Forschungsprojekte der Fakultät zunehmend molekulare Details adressieren, zu denen auch Interaktionsstudien gehören, besteht ein wachsender Bedarf für solche Techniken. Der Erwerb dieses Thermophorese-Instruments ist ein erster Schritt, um die analytischen Möglichkeiten in diesem Bereich zu verbessern. Das Instrument wird in der Proteomics-Plattform angesiedelt werden, wo seine Zugänglichkeit für alle Forschenden der UNIL, EPFL und anderer Universitäten gesichert ist. 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 19.11.2012

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Control of eukaryotic phosphate homeostasis by inositol polyphosphate sensor domains.
Wild Rebekka, Gerasimaite Ruta, Jung Ji-Yul, Truffault Vincent, Pavlovic Igor, Schmidt Andrea, Saiardi Adolfo, Jessen Henning Jacob, Poirier Yves, Hothorn Michael, Mayer Andreas (2016), Control of eukaryotic phosphate homeostasis by inositol polyphosphate sensor domains., in Science (New York, N.Y.), 352(6288), 986-90.

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
138065 TNF family ligands BAFF, APRIL and EDA 01.10.2011 Project funding (Div. I-III)
132958 Mechanisms of basal and regulated RNA polymerase III transcription in mammalian cells 01.11.2010 Project funding (Div. I-III)
127883 NCCR Molecular Oncology: From Basic Research to Therapeutic Apporaches (phase III) 01.05.2009 National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCRs)
132685 Rôle des protéases dans la réponse immunitaire et la tumorigenèse 01.03.2011 ProDoc
128661 Analysis of SNARE-dependent Membrane Fusion 01.10.2009 Project funding (Div. I-III)
130476 Molecular mechanisms linking ER-stress and inflammatory pathways 01.08.2010 Project funding (Div. I-III)
135616 Impact of Leishmania dsRNA virus on mucocutaneous leishmaniasis 01.04.2011 Project funding (Div. I-III)
133055 Structural and evolutionary studies on the vesicle fusion machinery 01.05.2011 Project funding (Div. I-III)
138235 Cellular specificity in wound signalling and hormone synthesis in Arabidopsis 01.01.2012 Project funding (Div. I-III)
122493 Caractérisation des rôles des gènes PHO1 dans l'homéostasie du phosphate et les voies de transductions de signaux 01.01.2009 Project funding (Div. I-III)


We request funding for the acquisition of a microscale thermophoresis instrument to quantify protein interactions. A rapidly growing number of groups in the Faculty of Biology and Medicine in Lausanne are now addressing questions at the molecular level, generating a need for quantitatively assessing the interactions of proteins among each other, or with metabolites, inhibitors, nucleic acids or lipids. Due to this increasing interest in interaction studies, we need to develop our technical capabilities in this area. Extensive tests of the Nanotemper Monolith system in Lausanne convinced us that microscale thermophoresis, which has only recently become available as a commercial instrument, would serve a wide range of users in our faculty well for this purpose. Traditional techniques for studying bio-molecular interactions in vitro, such as isothermal titration calorimetry and surface plasmon resonance require large amounts of high purity protein. Microscale thermophoresis allows to study bimolecular interactions in solution and requires only nanomolar amounts of protein and less than 10 µl per experiment. The measurements take only 2-3 minutes per sample and can even be performed in complex protein mixtures. Since microscale thermophoresis monitors a fluorescently labeled molecule, it offers the possibility of studying fluorescent fusion proteins in cell lysates without the need for purification. This facilitates measurements of proteins that can only be expressed in small amounts in cell cultures. Among such proteins are often the more interesting targets for medicine since many human proteins can only be successfully folded in mammalian expression systems. Microscale thermophoresis thus increases the number of potential targets which can be studied and increases the rate at which proteins can be prepared for testing.To our knowledge, a microscale thermophoresis unit does not yet exist in Switzerland. The instrument will be placed in the Protein Analysis Facility of UNIL, a service platform run by specialized personnel who assists users in their analyses. In the facility, it will be accessible to all users, from UNIL or other universities. Initially, the instrument will be most used by the groups of Martinon, Schneider, Mayer and Fasshauer, for which we describe projects immediately benefiting from the instrument. Numerous other group leaders in the Lausanne area have expressed keen interest in having this technology available. Among those are also groups from the university hospital and the EPFL.