International comparability in spectroscopic measurements of protein structure by circular dichroism: CCQM-P59.1

Jascindra Ravi, David Schiffmann, Ratna Tantra, Simon Cox, Jonathan Eady, Christopher Jones, John S. Vrettos, Richard P. Affleck, Julie DeSa Lorenz, Yasushi Shigeri, Sheng Linghui, Liu Jun, Robert Willows, Philippe Charlet, Yves Dupont, Curtis W. Meuse, Marc J. A. Bailey, Alex E. Knight*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Circular dichroism is a spectroscopic technique that is widely used to obtain information about protein structure, and hence is an important tool with many applications, including the characterisation of biopharmaceuticals. However, there is a lack of confidence in the technique, arising from an observed lack of comparability in the data obtained by different laboratories, or even different operators. In this study, we set out to determine the extent of comparability in the technique, by comparing the results obtained from identical protein samples by a panel of worldwide laboratories. The laboratories chosen were either national measurement institutes (NMIs) or expert laboratories nominated by an NMI. We also aimed to identify the main factors contributing to any lack of measurement comparability. Data were analysed using PCA(11) and SIMCA methods, and we show these statistical techniques are ideal for analysing large amounts of this type of spectroscopic data. We found a startling lack of comparability among laboratories, but we also found that most of the variability arose from relatively simple problems, which can be avoided by following simple guidelines. We believe that the lack of an absolute reference or measurement traceability in circular dichroism contributes to a lack of confidence in the technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-641
Number of pages12
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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