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The Future of Post-Genomic Biology at the Proteomic Level: An Outlook

[ Vol. 8 , Issue. 8 ]


Reto Crameri, Peter Schulz-Knappe and Hans-Dieter Zucht   Pages 807 - 810 ( 4 )


Drug discovery and early-stage drugs and biomarkers development is a continuous adaptation and maturation process. The cycle of changes based on new findings is coupled with shifts in research priorities and make this part of pharmaceutical research a challenging endeavour. Over the last years, the emphasis on genomics has shifted to proteomics, the science of understanding how proteins translate gene information into function, and metabonomics, the science of small metabolites that are further apart from genomic projects. Proteomics describes the analysis of the protein complement of a biological sample with respect to temporal and spatial resolution. This technology is based on separation of complex protein mixtures by 2D gelelectrophoresis, in gel digest and mass spectrometric analysis of the protein fragments. Proteomics has been recently flanked by peptidomics, a new research direction aimed at the comprehensive analysis of small (1-20 kDa) polypeptides, thus covering the gap between proteomics and metabonomics. The refinement of peptidomics is based on an essential paradigm related to modularity and diversity. Peptides are a paramount example of how one single gene can release multiple functionalities. We can expect fast progress in understanding protein and peptide networks from a systems biology approach ending in the discovery of new peptide targets. However, the way from a complex sample to potential diagnostic and therapeutic targets will depend on technological developments and from the ability to discriminate true disease-related signals from false positive and negative signals, and the way from target discovery to target validation will not be short.


Proteomics, peptidomics, bioinformatics, trends


Swiss Institute of Allergyand Asthma Research (SIAF), Obere Strasse 22, CH-7270 Davos,Switzerland.

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