Proteomics will drive biology and medicine beyond genomics, and can have a profound impact on molecular diagnostics. The posttranslational modifications of cellular proteins that govern physiology and become deranged in disease cannot be accurately portrayed by gene expression alone. Consequently, new technology is being developed to discover, and quantitatively monitor, proteomic changes that are associated with disease etiology and progression. In the past, proteomic technologies were restricted to tumor cell lines or homogenized bulk tissue specimens. This source material may not accurately reflect molecular events taking place in the specific cells of the tissue itself. This article describes a completely new class of proteomic-based approaches aimed at the identification and investigation of protein markers in the actual histologically defined cell populations that are immersed in heterogeneous diseased tissue. It is envisioned that these investigations will eventually lead to novel diagnostic, prognostic, or therapeutic markers that can be applied to monitor therapeutic toxicity or efficacy.
- Matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization time-of-flight spectrometry
- Surface-enhanced laser desorption spectrometry