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Physiol Genomics. 2008 Mar 14;33(1):3-11. Epub 2007 Dec 27.

Methods and approaches for the comprehensive characterization and quantification of cellular proteomes using mass spectrometry.

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  • 1National Center for Proteomics Research, Biotechnology and Bioengineering Center, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226, USA. e-mail:


Proteomics has been proposed as one of the key technologies in the postgenomic era. So far, however, the comprehensive analysis of cellular proteomes has been a challenge because of the dynamic nature and complexity of the multitude of proteins in cells and tissues. Various approaches have been established for the analyses of proteins in a cell at a given state, and mass spectrometry (MS) has proven to be an efficient and versatile tool. MS-based proteomics approaches have significantly improved beyond the initial identification of proteins to comprehensive characterization and quantification of proteomes and their posttranslational modifications (PTMs). Despite these advances, there is still ongoing development of new technologies to profile and analyze cellular proteomes more completely and efficiently. In this review, we focus on MS-based techniques, describe basic approaches for MS-based profiling of cellular proteomes and analysis methods to identify proteins in complex mixtures, and discuss the different approaches for quantitative proteome analysis. Finally, we briefly discuss novel developments for the analysis of PTMs. Altered levels of PTM, sometimes in the absence of protein expression changes, are often linked to cellular responses and disease states, and the comprehensive analysis of cellular proteome would not be complete without the identification and quantification of the extent of PTMs of proteins.

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