Stem Cell Signaling Measured for the First Time

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Palo Alto, California, April 12, 2006 — Researchers from MIT, supported by Cell BioSciences’ just released Firefly™ protein assay platform, measured ERK phosphorylation in scarce hematopoietic stem cells from mice. Like many important cell signaling kinases, ERK affects cells based on its phosphorylation state. Activation of ERK through cell signaling pathways leads to cellular responses including proliferation, differentiation and survival. Since stem cells are always small in number, researchers have precious few cells with which to experiment. The Firefly 3000 system allowed the MIT researchers to use minimal numbers of cells and still obtain quantitative information.

“The CellBio system let us measure, for the first time, the effect of a hormone on signaling in a minute number of purified stem cells,” said Harvey Lodish, Professor of Biology and Founding Member of the Whitehead Institute of MIT. “The importance of this finding is that now the Firefly 3000 gives us a reliable system for measuring the results of treatments on various protein kinases involved in stem cell growth and differentiation.”

Roger O’Neill, VP of Science & Technology at Cell Biosciences added “many experiments have been limited by protein measurement systems that require large samples and abundant proteins The Firefly 3000 allows researchers to measure the activity of even low abundance proteins from precious samples such as stem cells and fine needle biopsies. Our results show that the Firefly 3000 can reliably measure various forms of proteins responsible for cell signaling events and will be valuable in assay development for biomarkers.” Part of this research project was supported by Serologicals Corporation who provided the antibodies used for identification and detection of the ERK protein phosphorylation forms.


Cell Biosciences is a provider of life science instrumentation systems for protein measurement and identification. The company designs, manufactures, markets and supports the nano-fluidics immunoassay platform called the Firefly™ 3000, providing a powerful tool for scientific investigation in biochemistry, hematology, immunology, and oncology. The Firefly system automates and streamlines the tedious technique of western blotting by eliminating the blotting step and substantially reducing the number of handling steps. Cell Biosciences is located in Palo Alto, CA and can be reached by phone (650 859 1485); on its website ( or by email (


Serologicals Corporation (NASDAQ: SERO), headquartered in Atlanta, GA., is a global leader in developing and commercializing consumable biological products, enabling technologies and services in support of biological research, drug discovery, and the bioprocessing of life-enhancing products. Our customers include researchers at major life science companies and leading research institutions involved in key disciplines, such as neurology, oncology, hematology, immunology, cardiology, proteomics, infectious diseases, cell signaling and stem cell research. In addition, Serologicals is the world's leading provider of monoclonal antibodies for the blood typing industry. Serologicals employs a total of approximately 1,000 people worldwide in three Serologicals' companies: Chemicon International headquartered in Temecula, California, Upstate Group, LLC, headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia and Celliance Corporation, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, please visit our website:


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