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Methods. 2013 Jun 15;61(3):186-218. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2013.04.008. Epub 2013 Apr 25.

Recent advances in quantitative neuroproteomics.

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  • 1Division of Molecular Psychiatry, Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities, Connecticut Mental Health Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06508, USA.


The field of proteomics is undergoing rapid development in a number of different areas including improvements in mass spectrometric platforms, peptide identification algorithms and bioinformatics. In particular, new and/or improved approaches have established robust methods that not only allow for in-depth and accurate peptide and protein identification and modification, but also allow for sensitive measurement of relative or absolute quantitation. These methods are beginning to be applied to the area of neuroproteomics, but the central nervous system poses many specific challenges in terms of quantitative proteomics, given the large number of different neuronal cell types that are intermixed and that exhibit distinct patterns of gene and protein expression. This review highlights the recent advances that have been made in quantitative neuroproteomics, with a focus on work published over the last five years that applies emerging methods to normal brain function as well as to various neuropsychiatric disorders including schizophrenia and drug addiction as well as of neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. While older methods such as two-dimensional polyacrylamide electrophoresis continued to be used, a variety of more in-depth MS-based approaches including both label (ICAT, iTRAQ, TMT, SILAC, SILAM), label-free (label-free, MRM, SWATH) and absolute quantification methods, are rapidly being applied to neurobiological investigations of normal and diseased brain tissue as well as of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). While the biological implications of many of these studies remain to be clearly established, that there is a clear need for standardization of experimental design and data analysis, and that the analysis of protein changes in specific neuronal cell types in the central nervous system remains a serious challenge, it appears that the quality and depth of the more recent quantitative proteomics studies is beginning to shed light on a number of aspects of neuroscience that relates to normal brain function as well as of the changes in protein expression and regulation that occurs in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.

Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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