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Expert Rev Proteomics. 2014 Feb;11(1):121-9. doi: 10.1586/14789450.2014.878652.

Profiling proteoforms: promising follow-up of proteomics for biomarker discovery.

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Orekhovich Institute of Biomedical Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, 119121, Pogodinskaya Street 10, Moscow, Russia.


Today, proteomics usually compares clinical samples by use of bottom-up profiling with high resolution mass spectrometry, where all protein products of a single gene are considered as an integral whole. At the same time, proteomics of proteoforms, which considers the variety of protein species, offers the potential to discover valuable biomarkers. Proteoforms are protein species that arise as a consequence of genetic polymorphisms, alternative splicing, post-translational modifications and other less-explored molecular events. The comprehensive observation of proteoforms has been an exclusive privilege of top-down proteomics. Here, we review the possibilities of a bottom-up approach to address the microheterogeneity of the human proteome. Special focus is given to shotgun proteomics and structure-based bioinformatics as a source of hypothetical proteoforms, which can potentially be verified by targeted mass spectrometry to determine the relevance of proteoforms to diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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