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Proteomics. 2008 Oct;8(19):3924-32. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200800597.

Membrane proteins and membrane proteomics.

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Faculty of Science, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore, Singapore.


Biological membranes form an essential barrier between living cells and their external environments, as well as serve to compartmentalize intracellular organelles within eukaryotes. The latter includes membranes that envelope the nucleus, the outer and inner membranes of the mitochondria, membrane cisternae complex of the ER, Golgi apparatus, as well as lysosomes and secretory vesicles. Depending on their localizations in the whole organism and also within the cell, these membranes have different, highly specialized functions. Although 30% of naturally occurring proteins are predicted to be embedded in biological membranes, membrane proteomics is traditionally understudied due to difficulties in solubilizing, separating, and identifying membrane proteins. Given the importance of membrane proteins in the various cellular processes listed in this review, as well as the roles they play in diseases and their potential as drug targets, it is imperative that this class of proteins be better studied. With the recent advancement in technology, it is expected that some of the difficulties in membrane proteomics will be overcome, yielding new data on membrane proteins.

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