Mass Spectrometry & Spectroscopy
How is Proteomics Changing?
Sep 11 2021
Proteomics, the study of the entire protein composition of an organism, cell, tissue or system, is continually evolving. The discipline is heavily reliant on advanced scientific instruments that allow researchers to identify and quantify individual proteins, as well as analyse how they interact with each other. The development of new scientific instruments, combined with novel breakthroughs in other fields such as genomics and mass spectrometry, continue to drive advances in proteomics.
The ever-changing nature of the proteome
The proteomes of organisms, cells, tissues and systems are not static, but continually changing. This is because individual proteins within the proteome are constantly synthesising, changing and breaking down. Advances in proteomics allow scientists to dive deeper into the mechanics of living organisms. Below, we spotlight some of the biggest news stories that demonstrate how proteomics is changing and what the implications are for modern healthcare.
Improving clinical care
Colorado-based protein biomarker discovery and clinical diagnostics company SomaLogic recently announced a partnership with Pittsburgh healthcare provider UPMC to integrate the company’s advanced SomaScan proteomic platform into the clinical care system.
"As part of our commitment to investing in translational science that significantly improves the lives of patients, we are evaluating whether a proteomics approach can help clinicians identify patients at the highest risk for major health events, like heart attack or stroke," says Suresh Mulukutla, a cardiology specialist at UPMC. "That will allow us to better target interventions and care.”
Proteomics and COVID-19
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists have been exploring proteomics as a tool to reveal the viral protein structure of the disease and understand more about how it functions. In particular, a discipline known as ‘bottom-up proteomics’ has been combined with peptide sequencing to map primary protein structure and isolate individual proteins of interest. This has allowed scientists to identify viral proteins in host cells and better understand the lifecycle of the virus.
Combining genomics and proteomics
Over the past decade, scientists have been exploring ways to combine genomics and proteomics to meticulously map the biological makeup of the human body. Some experts predict this marriage could unlock the potential to eliminate disease completely.
Advances in mass spectrometry (MS)
Mass spectrometry is fundamental to proteomics, with advanced instruments allowing scientists to analyse the proteome in incredible detail. Over the past few years, data independent acquisition (DIA) workflows have won attention for their ability to overcome issues that arise when using traditional data dependent acquisition (DDA) techniques. Find out more about how the new methods are revolutionising how scientists study the proteome in ‘dia-PASEF: A Result of the Co-evolution of Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics’.
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