Proteomics & Bioinformatics

Proteomics, the large-scale analysis of proteins, contributes greatly to our understanding of gene function in the post-genomic era. Proteomics can be divided into three main areas: (1) protein micro-characterization for large-scale identification of proteins and their post-translational modifications; (2) 'differential display' proteomics for comparison of protein levels with potential application in a wide range of diseases; and (3) studies of protein–protein interactions using techniques such as mass spectrometry or the yeast two-hybrid system. Proteomics technologies are under continuous improvements and new technologies are introduced. Nowadays high throughput acquisition of proteome data is possible. The young and rapidly emerging field of bioinformatics in proteomics is introducing new algorithms to handle large and heterogeneous data sets and to improve the knowledge discovery process. Peptide libraries offer a valuable means for providing functional information regarding protein-modifying enzymes and protein interaction domains.

Crucially, new computational and biochemical tools have emerged that facilitate identification of interaction partners and substrates for proteins on the basis of their peptide selectivity profiles.

Proteomics can be viewed as an experimental approach to explain the information contained in genomic sequences in terms of the structure, function, and control of biological processes and pathways. Proteomics attempts to study biological processes comprehensively by the systematic analysis of the proteins expressed in a cell or tissue.

The field of Bioinformatics provides tools we can use to understand disease processes through the analysis of molecular sequence data. More broadly, bioinformatics facilitates our understanding of the basic aspects of biology including development, metabolism, adaptation, to the environment, genetics and evolution.