Phosphoinositides are a class of phospholipids that serve a number of membrane-related functions, including vesicle transport, regulation of the actin cytoskeleton, and protein targeting to membranes.1 To facilitate the study of phosphoinositide signaling pathways, Salt Lake City-based Echelon Biosciences has developed PIP Arrays™ and Strips™, a set of tools enabling researchers to examine protein/phosphoinositide interactions.

Glenn Prestwich, Echelon's Chief Scientific Officer, explains that the phosphoinositide (PIP) family consists of eight specific phospholipids with different head groups. Echelon's PIP Arrays--consisting of seven concentrations of each of the eight PIPs noncovalently adsorbed to a nitrocellulose membrane--allow users to "measure the relative affinity of any given protein for a set of phosphorylated lipids," says Prestwich. The technology replaces more tedious binding assays and eliminates the need for researchers to personally make the arrays, a feat that Prestwich explains can be problematic. "Phosphoinositides are poorly soluble in just about anything, except for...

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