Development and application of high throughput methods for molecular biology, protein purification and protein crystallization.
The OPPF (www.oppf.ox.ac.uk) research activity is focused on the development and application of high throughput methods for molecular biology, protein purification and protein crystallization. The overall aim is to facilitate the structural solution of challenging proteins of biomedical importance using X-ray crystallography. The OPPF team set up the high throughput crystallization facility of the Structural Biology Division and are responsible for its on-going management. Using laboratory automation, we have established a protein production pipeline capable of processing up to a thousand input sequences/year. We are currently focussing on the use of transient transfection in mammalian cells for production of cell surface and secreted glycoproteins. The OPPF offers bacterial expression screening and crystallization services to external users and undertakes collaborative projects involving the production of proteins for structural and functional studies. From January 2010 we will be re-locating to the Research Complex at Harwell (www.rc-harwell.ac.uk) a new multi-disciplinary centre situated next to the Diamond Synchrotron (www.diamond.ac.uk). The project will be renamed the OPPF-UK and will be a National Resource for expertise in protein production and crystallization. Users will be able to access the facility free of charge.