Transfusion medicine in the era of proteomics

J Proteomics. 2008 Apr 30;71(1):34-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2008.02.004. Epub 2008 Mar 5.


Blood components (BCs) are highly complex mixtures of plasma proteins and cells. At present, BC and blood derivatives (BDs) quality control is mainly focused on standardized quantitative assessment, providing relatively limited information about products. Unfortunately, during the production, inactivation, and storage processes there is the risk of changes in their integrity, especially at the protein level, which could cause negative effects on transfusion. It is therefore a major challenge to identify significant alterations of these products, and, in this context, proteomics can play a potentially relevant role in transfusion medicine (TM) to assess the protein composition of blood-derived therapeutics, particularly for identifying modified proteins. It can provide comprehensive information about changes occurring during processing and storage of BCs and BDs and can be applied to assess or improve them, therefore potentially enabling a global assessment of processing, inactivation and storage methods, as well as of possible contaminants and neoantigens that may influence the immunogenic capacity of blood-derived therapeutics. Thus, proteomics could become a relevant part of quality-control process to verify the identity, purity, safety, and potency of various blood therapeutics. A more detailed understanding of the proteins found in blood and blood products, and the identification of their interactions, may also yield important information for the design of new small molecule therapeutics and also for future improvements in TM. Proteomics, together with genomics in the near future, will presumably have an impact on disease diagnosis and prognosis as well as on further advances in the production, pathogen inactivation and storage processes of blood-based therapeutics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood
  • Blood Transfusion* / trends
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells
  • Humans
  • Medicine / trends
  • Proteomics*
  • Receptors, Complement 3b / metabolism


  • Receptors, Complement 3b