What is proteomics?

Proteomics today, is understood as " the systematic study of the many and diverse properties of proteins with the aim of providing detailed descriptions of the structure, function and control of biological systems in health and disease (Patterson 2003)”. A major challenge of proteome analysis, as opposed to genome projects, is the dynamics underlying the protein composition of a cell, a tissue or an organism at a given time point under given external and internal conditions.

Up to date Proteome analysis is not limited to "protein identification", but also includes ‘analysis of up- and downregulation of gene products and ‘identification of posttranslational modifications in a proteome’, which can alter protein function and interactions significantly.

Still mass spectrometry is the central essential method in proteomics but it needs to further develop and integrate innovative technologies to address major questions in medicine and biology. Sample complexity of intact proteomes still is a main challenge. In future, the focus will switch more and more to the analysis of subproteomes, phosphoproteomes and organelles.

Patterson, S.D. (2003). Proteomics: the first decade and beyond.” Nature genetics supplement Vol. 33