Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Biosyst. 2010 Apr;6(4):641-7. doi: 10.1039/b910653g. Epub 2010 Jan 12.

Toponomics: studying protein-protein interactions and protein networks in intact tissue.

Author information

Institut für Klinische Pharmakologie, Klinikum der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590 Frankfurt, Germany.


The function of a protein is determined on several levels including the genome, transcriptome, proteome, and the recently introduced toponome. The toponome describes the topology of all proteins, protein complexes and protein networks which constitute and influence the microenvironment of a given protein. It has long been known that cellular function or dysfunction of proteins strongly depends on their microenvironment and even small changes in protein arrangements can dramatically alter their activity/function. Thus, deciphering the topology of the multi-dimensional networks which control normal and disease-related pathways will give a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying disease development. While various powerful proteomic tools allow simultaneous quantification of proteins, only a limited number of techniques are available to visualize protein networks in intact cells and tissues. This review discusses a novel approach to map and decipher functional molecular networks of proteins in intact cells or tissues. Multi-epitope-ligand-cartography (MELC) is an imaging technology that identifies and quantifies protein networks at the subcellular level of morphologically-intact specimens. This immunohistochemistry-based method allows serial visualization and biomathematical analysis of up to 100 cellular components using fluorescence-labelled tags. The resulting toponome maps, simultaneously ranging from the subcellular to the supracellular scale, have the potential to provide the basis for a mathematical description of the dynamic topology of protein networks, and will complement current proteomic data to enhance the understanding of physiological and pathophysiological cell functions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Royal Society of Chemistry
Loading ...
Support Center