What is proteomics?

Proteomics is a large-scale study of proteins.

What are proteins

Proteins are nitrogenous organic compounds composed of large molecules (amino acids) and are the essential part of all living organisms.

How manny proteins do humans have

Once the first drafts were completed of the human genome, the number of identified genes (+/-28,000) were far less than 100,000 genes expected from earlier predictions. The scientific community were somehow disappointed that humans have less genes then a grape.

Every gene codes for proteins and proteins are the appearance and performance of the cells. They hold the key to being sick or healthy. Proteins are the major functional molecules responsible for all biological processes. With a total number of proteins per unit cell volume of 2–4 million proteins per cubic micron.

The tadpole frog comparison


One of the most striking example that illustrates the importance of of proteins in organism, is the difference between a frog and its fishlike tadpole. They both share exactly the same set of genes, but they are also as different as day and night. The same is true for the all the different cell types within one organism. Differences in cell function between brain and muscle tissue are caused by specific proteins working together in these cells, encoded by the same DNA.

Cancer and Imbalance in Protein Profiles

Often cancer does not simply result from damage to the DNA, but are caused by imbalances in the protein profile determining cell functions. Tumor growth can be caused by mutations on different points in the DNA causing a change in proteins designed to regulate normal cell growth.

This limits possible treatment options after DNA analyses in cancer. Which means that we need to know the impact of proteins to cure cancer.

New times in Human Biology

Sequencing the human genome and profiling proteins has initiated new times in human biology. This offers huge opportunities to improve health. Due to advances in science, the emphasis is now rapidly moving towards the biological interpretation of the biological data. This biological interpretation relies heavily on the field of bioinformatics. bioinformatics combine mutations in DNA and function mutations, and interactions of the proteins (genes) and their role in biological processes.

Proteomics at Tumor Technologies

The role of proteins is extremely important. Providing a snapshot of the cell in action, enables tumor technologies to understand the structure, function and interactions of the entire protein content in a specific tumor. At tumor technologies they try to improve our understanding of biological processes at the molecular (protein) level. They aim to improve drug therapy and obtain better biomarkers for health and disease. Once proteomics tools mature more, there will be immense social implications of results generated by proteomics.

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