Total protein scan approaches reality

July 30, 2001 | Source: New Scientist

For the first time, nearly all the proteins from a single organism have been produced, purified and biochemically tested in an area the size of a postage stamp. Experts say such “proteome chips” will revolutionize medicine and biology.
The US researchers who created the chip have already used it to study the biochemistry of 93 per cent of the proteins of brewer’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a total of 5800 molecules.

One of the study’s leaders, Michael Snyder of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut says this type of technology will ultimately shed light on the function of our own cells. “While a lot of work needs to be done, extending this to the set of human proteins is clearly possible,” he says. Human cells contain 30,000 or more genes and may possess many times more protein species.