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Electrophoresis. 2000 Apr;21(6):1187-201.

Proteomics in medical microbiology.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Scotland. p.cash@abdn.ac.uk

Abstract

The techniques of proteomics (high resolution two-dimensional electrophoresis and protein characterisation) are widely used for microbiological research to analyse global protein synthesis as an indicator of gene expression. The rapid progress in microbial proteomics has been achieved through the wide availability of whole genome sequences for a number of bacterial groups. Beyond providing a basic understanding of microbial gene expression, proteomics has also played a role in medical areas of microbiology. Progress has been made in the use of the techniques for investigating the epidemiology and taxonomy of human microbial pathogens, the identification of novel pathogenic mechanisms and the analysis of drug resistance. In each of these areas, proteomics has provided new insights that complement genomic-based investigations. This review describes the current progress in these research fields and highlights some of the technical challenges existing for the application of proteomics in medical microbiology. The latter concern the analysis of genetically heterogeneous bacterial populations and the integration of the proteomic and genomic data for these bacteria. The characterisation of the proteomes of bacterial pathogens growing in their natural hosts remains a future challenge.

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