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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2007 Aug;18(4):378-84. Epub 2007 Aug 14.

Advances in proteomic workflows for systems biology.

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Institute for Molecular Systems Biology, ETH Zürich, Switzerland.


Mass spectrometry, specifically the analysis of complex peptide mixtures by liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (shotgun proteomics) has been at the centre of proteomics research for the past decade. To overcome some of the fundamental limitations of the approach, including its limited sensitivity and high degree of redundancy, new proteomic workflows are being developed. Among these, targeting methods in which specific peptides are selectively isolated, identified and quantified are particularly promising. Here we summarize recent incremental advances in shotgun proteomic methods and outline emerging targeted workflows. The development of the target-driven approaches with their ability to detect and quantify identical, non-redundant sets of proteins in multiple repeat analyses will be crucially important for the application of proteomics to biomarker discovery and validation, and to systems biology research.

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