Proteomics involves the systematic study of
proteins in order to provide a comprehensive view of the structure,
function and regulation of biological systems. Advances in instrumentation
and methodologies have fueled an expansion of the scope of biological
studies from simple biochemical analysis of single proteins to
measurements of complex protein mixtures. Proteomics is rapidly
becoming an essential component of biological research. Coupled
with advances in bioinformatics, this approach to comprehensively
describing biological systems will undoubtedly have a major impact
on our understanding of the phenotypes of both normal and diseased
Initially, proteomics focused on the generation
of protein maps using two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis.
The field has since expanded to include not only protein expression
profiling, but the analysis of post-translational modifications
and protein-protein interactions. Protein expression, or the
quantitative measurement of the global levels of proteins, may
still be done with two-dimensional gels, however, mass spectrometry
has been incorporated to increase sensitivity, specificity and
to provide results in a high-throughput format. A variety of
platforms are available to conduct protein expression studies
and this site provides links to these resources.
The study of protein-protein interactions
has been revolutionized by the development of protein microarrays.
Analagous to DNA microarrays, these biochips are printed with
antibodies or proteins and probed with a complex protein mixture.
The intenisty or indentity of the resulting protein-protein interactions
may be detected by fluorescence imaging or mass spectrometry.
Other protein capture methods may be used in place of arrays,
including the yeast two-hybrid system or the isolation of proteins/protein
complexes by affinity chromatography or other separation techniques.