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Technology insight: the application of proteomics in gastrointestinal disease.

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Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UK.


Analysis of the human genome has increased our knowledge of the genes that are associated with disease. At the same time, however, it has become clear that having complete DNA sequences alone is not sufficient to elucidate the biological functions of the proteins that they encode. For this reason, proteomics-the analysis of proteins-has become increasingly attractive, because the proteome reflects both the intrinsic genetic programming of a cell and the impact of its immediate environment. The principal goals of clinical proteomics are to identify biomarkers for the early diagnosis of disease and potential targets for therapeutic intervention. Other goals include the identification of biomarkers for the early detection of disease recurrence (relapse) and how they might be combined with diagnostic imaging techniques to improve the sensitivity for detecting disease. This Review describes conventional proteomic technologies, their strengths and limitations, and demonstrates their application to clinical practice, with specific reference to their use in the gastroenterology field.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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