There is a need for protein-specific affinity reagents to explore the gene products encoded by the genome. Recently, systematic efforts to generate validated affinity reagents on a whole human proteome level have been initiated. There are several issues for such efforts, including choice of antigen, type of affinity reagent, and the subsequent validation of the generated protein-specific binders. The advantages and disadvantages with the different approaches are discussed and the problems related to quality assessment of antibodies to be used in multi-platform applications are addressed. This review also describes the efforts to create a virtual resource of validated antibodies using a community-based portal and summarizes the status and visions for the publicly available human protein atlas (http://www.proteinatlas.org) showing the human protein profiles in a large number of normal and cancer tissues as well as a large set of human cell lines.
Copyright (c) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.