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Circ Res. 2006 Feb 17;98(3):309-21.

Proteomics of the heart: unraveling disease.

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  • 1The BioScience Communications, London, UK.


Heart diseases resulting in heart failure are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in developed countries. Underlying molecular causes of cardiac dysfunction in most heart diseases are still largely unknown but are expected to result from causal alterations in gene and protein expression. Proteomic technology now allows us to examine global alterations in protein expression in the diseased heart and can provide new insights into cellular mechanisms involved in cardiac dysfunction. The majority of proteomic investigations still use 2D gel electrophoresis (2-DE) with immobilized pH gradients to separate the proteins in a sample and combine this with mass spectrometry (MS) technologies to identify proteins. In spite of the development of novel gel-free technologies, 2-DE remains the only technique that can be routinely applied to parallel quantitative expression profiling of large sets of complex protein mixtures such as whole cell lysates. It can resolve >5000 proteins simultaneously (approximately 2000 proteins routinely) and can detect <1 ng of protein per spot. Furthermore, 2-DE delivers a map of intact proteins, which reflects changes in protein expression level, isoforms, or post-translational modifications. The use of proteomics to investigate heart disease should result in the generation of new diagnostic and therapeutic markers. In this article, we review the current status of proteomic technologies, describing the 2-DE proteomics workflow, with an overview of protein identification by MS and how these technologies are being applied to studies of human heart disease.

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