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Am J Pharmacogenomics. 2001;1(1):29-35.

Proteomics. Making sense of genomic information for drug discovery.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Pasarow Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA.


As an increasing number of available genomes triggers a gold rush in modern biology, the scientific challenge shifts towards understanding the total of the encoded information, most notably the proteins, their structures, functions and interactions. Currently this work is in its early stages but the near future will bring a merger of biology, engineering and informatics with a far broader impact on society than pure genomics has had so far. The challenge of characterizing the structures and functions of all proteins in a given cell demands technological advances beyond the classical methodologies of protein biochemistry. Mass spectrometry techniques for high-throughput protein identification, including peptide mass fingerprinting, sequence tagging and mass spectrometry on full-length proteins are providing the driving force behind proteomics endeavors. New technologies are needed to move high-resolution protein structure determination to an industrial scale. Nonetheless, improvements in techniques for the separation of intrinsic membrane proteins are enabling proteomics efforts towards identifying drug targets within this important class of biomolecules. Beyond the acquisition of data on sequences, structures and interactions, however, the major work in drug discovery remains: the screening of large candidate compound libraries combined with clever medicinal chemistry that guarantees selective action and defined delivery of the drug.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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