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Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2009 Oct;13(4):398-405. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2009.06.027. Epub 2009 Aug 5.

Dissecting protein function and signaling using protein microarrays.

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Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Harvard University, 12 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.


Although many methods exist to study the recognition and signaling properties of proteins in isolation, it remains a challenge to perform these investigations on a system-wide or proteome-wide scale and within the context of biological complexity. Protein microarray technology provides a powerful tool to assess the selectivity of protein-protein interactions in high-throughput and to quantify the abundances and post-translational modification states of many different proteins in complex mixtures. Here, we provide an overview of the various applications of protein microarray technology and compare the strengths and technical challenges associated with each approach. Overall, we conclude that if this technology is to have a substantial impact on our understanding of cell biology and physiology, increased emphasis must be placed on obtaining rigorously controlled quantitative data from protein function microarrays and on assessing the selectivity of reagents used in conjunction with protein-detecting microarrays.

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