- Several years ago, the editors of MCP1 , concerned with the widely varying standards in articles reporting large scale protein identifications, undertook the task of drafting and adopting guidelines for manuscripts that laid out what it felt (and strengthened by considerable advice and comments received from numerous experts in the field) were the minimum set of requirements for reporting and analyzing this type of data (1). The purpose was to raise awareness to the fact that if articles were severely flawed by incorrect or incomplete information, the field of proteomics was bound to suffer a major loss of credibility.
- The landmark completion of the human genome project and the methodological breakthrough that has taken place within proteomics and functional genomics in the last decade promise to have a major impact on clinical practice, as these developments are likely to change the way in which diseases will be diagnosed, treated, and monitored in the near future. Today, we are moving increasingly from the study of cultured cells to the analysis of freshly collected cells, tissue samples, and biofluids, and one of the main challenges we face is how best to apply these powerful novel technologies to the study of clinically relevant samples in a well defined clinical and pathological framework.
- Almost three decades have elapsed since O’Farrell and Klose independently introduced high-resolution two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE)—often referred to as gel-based proteomics—as a core technology for analyzing the protein composition of cells, tissue, or bio fluids. Since then, many technological developments have taken place leading to improvements in the procedures for detecting, quantitating, comparing, characterizing, and storing the wealth of information generated by this method.
- The sequencing of the human and other genomes is only the beginning of the quest to understand the functionality of cells, tissues, and organs in health and disease. Together with progress in bioinformatics, this development has paved the way to the revolution in biology and medicine that we are experiencing today. We are steadily moving from the study of single molecules to the analysis of complex biological systems, and the current explosion in the number of technologies available within proteomics and functional genomics promises to have a major impact on the way diseases will be diagnosed, treated, and managed in the near future.