Proteomics at a glance
World Journal of Medical Research 2012, 1:1
In 1995 Mark Wilkins coined the term “proteome” to describe the total set of proteins concealed in the genome and two years later the term “proteomics” was used to describe the study of the proteome with the notion that the availability of a complete genome map would allow proteome construction. The suffix –“ome”/”omics” has been extended to describe not only mapping genes and proteins but also the study of large-scale biological phenomena in general. Accordingly, exploring metabolites is termed metabolomics and so on. Upon completion of the Human Genome Project in which the entire human genome was mapped, an optimistic scientific community imagined being able to understand and treat genetically-based diseases and deliver tailored drug therapy based on individual gene profiling. However, having mapped the complete genome is just one of many steps down this road. Acquiring genetic information does not necessarily translate into knowledge about the gene product itself. Which genes are turned on and off? What are the temporal and spatial perspectives of the gene products, e.g. proteins? How do they interact and affect each other? In the understanding of these questions proteomics has proven to be an indispensable tool.