Location: Food and Feed Safety Research
Title: Chicken-specific peptide arrays for kinome analysis: Flight for the flightless Authors
Submitted to: Current Topics in Biotechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 23, 2013
Publication Date: June 1, 2013
Citation: Arsenault, R.J., Kogut, M.H. 2013. Chicken-specific peptide arrays for kinome analysis: Flight for the flightless. Current Topics in Biotechnology. 7:79-89. Interpretive Summary: The study of proteins within a cell or organism, known as proteomics, is an increasingly important field of research. There are many subfields to proteomics; one of these is the study of the intra-cellular modification of proteins by the addition of a phosphate group known as phosphorylation. This phosphorylation causes changes in the activity of the protein and these changes are what allow intra-cellular signaling to occur. The study of protein phosphorylation carried out by enzymes known as kinases is called kinomics. There are many tools to study kinomics in the most common research species, humans and mice, but the other tools are limited for other species. The development of a species-specific peptide array has allowed kinomic study of a wide variety of species including chicken. Chicken is an important research species for a number of reasons. Chickens can be infected with diseases that also infect humans making them a source of human infection and an important species for infection studies. Chickens can be an animal model in many cases where the common animal models, such as mice, are inadequate or irrelevant. Since chickens reproduce by laying eggs studies of embryo development and experimental manipulation of embryo development are much easier in chicken. Perhaps most importantly, chicken is a key food animal and with the twin mandates of increased food production and restrictions in common production practices such as the use of antibiotics, additional research is required to enhance animal health, productivity, and human food safety.
Technical Abstract: Kinomics, the study of kinase enzymes within an organism, is a rapidly growing field of proteomics. The use of high-throughput technology to study the kinome has enabled researchers to conduct studies of the global signaling environment within an organism. The problem arises when researchers interested in non-human, non-mouse species attempt to use these latest techniques for their species of interest. A recent advancement that has overcome this species problem is the species-specific peptide array. Custom tailored to the species of interest, this high-throughput kinome technology allows researchers to study global cellular signaling events in nearly any organism that uses phosphorylation-mediated signal transduction. Specific to this review is the study of the chicken, which has never been a more important or relevant research species. There are a number of basic biological questions about chickens that can be answered through new experimental techniques. In addition, zoonotic diseases, like avian influenza and Salmonella, which can infect humans through interaction with infected animals, have shown avians to be an important infectious vector. While the significant limitations to the mouse model have become more and more apparent, researchers have turned to alternative species such as chicken which are relatively easy to care for, inexpensive, and are suited to large scale studies. The chicken is an ideal candidate for in ovo developmental studies, as well as models for certain infectious agents. Finally, issues of food safety and agricultural antibiotic use are ever present in the media and public policy discussions. The development of research tools to find safer means of animal production and alternatives to antibiotics are going to be increasingly important research objectives in the years to come.