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Cell Cycle. 2006 Aug;5(15):1587-91. Epub 2006 Aug 1.

Systematic proteome and transcriptome analysis of stem cell populations.

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  • 1Stem Cell and Leukaemia Proteomics Laboratory, University of Manchester, Kinnaird House, Manchester, UK.


Methods for relative assessment of the transcriptional activity of the cell are now routinely employed and obtain large amounts of information regarding process such as transformation or development. These approaches have great impact and are of significant value. Nonetheless, mRNA is an intermediate in the process of protein synthesis and changes in mRNA expression do not reflect absolute or relative changes in protein levels. The mechanisms which translate mRNA to protein are highly regulated, and it remains unclear how the transcriptome reflects the functional state of the cell, as defined by its protein output. Large scale analyses of the proteome are now becoming a reality due to technical advances in protein arrays and mass spectrometry. Thus for the first time data on large numbers of mRNA transcripts and the levels of expression of their associated proteins is available in dynamic systems. Analysis of one such comparison, the transcriptome and proteome of primary haematopoietic stem cells, reveals post-translational regulation of the proteome in stem cell populations. The factors which must be considered when comparing two systematically acquired 'omics' datasets are reviewed and the relative merits of transcriptome and proteome approaches are discussed.

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