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Biochemistry. 2011 Sep 6;50(35):7447-61. doi: 10.1021/bi200417k. Epub 2011 Aug 15.

Investigating endogenous peptides and peptidases using peptidomics.

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Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, United States.


Rather than simply being protein degradation products, peptides have proven to be important bioactive molecules. Bioactive peptides act as hormones, neurotransmitters, and antimicrobial agents in vivo. The dysregulation of bioactive peptide signaling is also known to be involved in disease, and targeting peptide hormone pathways has been a successful strategy in the development of novel therapeutics. The importance of bioactive peptides in biology has spurred research to elucidate the function and regulation of these molecules. Classical methods for peptide analysis have relied on targeted immunoassays, but certain scientific questions necessitated a broader and more detailed view of the peptidome--all the peptides in a cell, tissue, or organism. In this review we discuss how peptidomics has emerged to fill this need through the application of advanced liquid chromatography--tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) methods that provide unique insights into peptide activity and regulation.

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