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Mol Cell Proteomics. 2006 Oct;5(10):1811-8. Epub 2006 May 30.

Population proteomics: the concept, attributes, and potential for cancer biomarker research.

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  • 1Intrinsic Bioprobes, Inc., Tempe, Arizona 85281, USA.


This review outlines the concept of population proteomics and its implication in the discovery and validation of cancer-specific protein modulations. Population proteomics is an applied subdiscipline of proteomics engaging in the investigation of human proteins across and within populations to define and better understand protein diversity. Population proteomics focuses on interrogation of specific proteins from large number of individuals, utilizing top-down, targeted affinity mass spectrometry approaches to probe protein modifications. Deglycosylation, sequence truncations, side-chain residue modifications, and other modifications have been reported for myriad of proteins, yet little is know about their incidence rate in the general population. Such information can be gathered via population proteomics and would greatly aid the biomarker discovery efforts. Discovery of novel protein modifications is also expected from such large scale population proteomics, expanding the protein knowledge database. In regard to cancer protein biomarkers, their validation via population proteomics-based approaches is advantageous as mass spectrometry detection is used both in the discovery and validation process, which is essential for the detection of those structurally modified protein biomarkers.

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