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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2005 Apr;62(7-8):848-69.

Mass spectrometry-based proteomics in the life sciences.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry, The School of Pharmacy, University of London, 29/39 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AX, United Kingdom.


Over the last 20 years, mass spectrometry-based proteomics has become an indispensable tool in the cellular and molecular life sciences. This has been enabled by the 'soft ionisation' techniques of electrospray and matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionisation, which allow the gentle ionisation and vaporisation of large, thermally labile biomolecules. Innovative instrumentation designs and biochemical strategies have brought success in the large-scale identification and quantification of proteins, as well as the characterisation of their complexes and post-translational modifications. This review describes the instrumentation used for proteomics research. It presents an overview of the current applications of mass spectrometry-based proteomics to the cellular and molecular life sciences, and discusses challenges that exist for research in the future.

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