New England Biolabs (NEB) has announced that it has received fast track SBIR funding of $1.22 million to fund the research and development of novel enzymatic reagents for epigenetic studies.
New England Biolabs is committed to developing tools that advance epigenetics research and discovery, and offers a growing range of products for use in this area. Scientists at NEB recently identified the MspJI family of restriction enzymes and demonstrated their utility in mapping epigenetic modifications. This family of enzymes has the ability to cleave out small fragments of DNA for use in applications such as next generation sequencing, as well as to identify 5-hydroxymethylcytosine modifications, when used in conjunction with T4 B-glucosyltransferase. Funding will go towards continuing this work, simplifying the study of epigenetic DNA modifications and expanding their potential as biomarkers.
"The discovery of MspJI and its homologs offers a significant opportunity for greatly expanding the role of restriction enzymes in epigenetics research," states Dr. Richard Roberts, Chief Scientific Officer at New England Biolabs. "The use of MspJI and other restriction enzymes in this family will simplify the study of DNA methylation and will accelerate our understanding of the role of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in the epigenome."