Proteomics is the large-scale study of the proteome: the complete set of proteins expressed by the genome in a cell, tissue, or organism. Whereas genomics relates to the building plan of an organism, proteomics relates to the implementation of this plan in an actual living system. Proteins regulate most of the functions of any organism and are therefore often referred to as the machines and work horses of the living cell. The leading proteomics technology is mass spectrometry, a technique allowing accurate measurement of proteins in any organism or sample type.1
Protein expression refers to the way in which proteins are synthesized, modified, and regulated in living organisms. Expression proteomics is the quantitative study of protein expression across multiple samples, e.g. from healthy versus diseased tissue. This approach can identify novel biomarkers or potential drug targets. With a global approach regulation can be identified on a whole pathway level, which is more significant than single protein assays.2
Proteins perform a diverse range of functions in cells. Functional proteomics investigates the activation of proteins, e.g. by characterizing post-translational modifications (PTMs) or degradation of proteins in response to metabolic and environmental changes. One of the most important post-translational modifications is phosphorylation, which we can identify and quantify to gain information about protein signaling, disease mechanisms or protein-drug interactions.2,3
The three-dimensional structure of a protein determines its function. Structural proteomics maps out changes in structure in response to perturbations or effects on protein-protein interaction. Structural proteomics analysis also helps to identify drug targets and even provides information about the drug binding site. Tracking global changes in protein structure across pathways may change the way how we look at cell signaling in the future.3
A central dogma in molecular biology is the encoding of the genome into the transcriptome and proteome, which defines the relationship between the genotype and phenotype.4 This process occurs in three main steps:
Like the genome, the proteome builds step by step a tremendous complexity – with splicing variants and post-translational modifications generating more than a million different proteoforms from around 22,000 genes. It can serve as a sensitive indicator of factors that influence health, such as diet, habits, and clinical history. This highly valuable functional information reveals the phenotypic state of cells and tissues on a molecular level. It also provides actionable information about modifiable targets and pathways potentially involved in disease, along with biomarkers that can act as a readout of health or disease status.
Mass spectrometry-based proteomics is the leading technology to comprehensively and accurately measure proteins and gain multi-dimensional insights into the proteome at large scale.
Modern, high-throughput mass spectrometry techniques allow the richness of the proteome to be uncovered at large scale in an unbiased way across thousands of proteins in thousands of samples.
Further, mass spectrometry-based proteomics has the advantage over targeted technologies, such as antibody or aptamer-based proteomics, that it provides highest specificity, covers more than just one epitope, and allows direct quantification of analytes with a label-free physical approach.
Biognosys has invented and developed several proprietary, patented mass spectrometry-based proteomics technologies and offers a broad range of cutting-edge proteomics services and products. We make these widely available to life science researchers and proteomics experts to increase access to the proteome.
1. Rinner O. Chimia. 2016;70(12):860-863
2. Piazza I et al. Nature Communications. 2020;11:4200
3. Cappelletti V et al. Cell. 2021;184(2):545-559
4. Bludau I, Aebersold R. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2020;21:327–340