Purpose of review: Proteomics encompasses a group of technologies that attempt to separate, identify and characterize a global set of proteins. This review will highlight the technologies available, outline the capabilities, advantages and disadvantages of each and briefly describe applications in nephrology.
Recent findings: Proteomics provides information about abundance, location, chemical modification and protein-protein interactions that is not available from genomic technologies. Several proteomic approaches are now widely available. Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, antibody arrays and protein chips (surface enhanced laser desorption ionization) provide opportunities to identify and compare an abundance of proteins as well as to determine posttranslational modifications, subcellular location and molecular interactions. Recent advances such as multidimensional chromatographic analysis and isotope coded affinity tags have expanded the usefulness of these approaches.
Summary: Proteomic technologies are improving and developing rapidly. These techniques will be valuable tools to develop markers for disease, identify and evaluate proteins as drug targets and understand renal physiology at the protein level.