Blood-related proteomics is an emerging field, recently gaining momentum. Indeed, a wealth of data is now available and a plethora of groups has contributed to add pieces to the jigsaw puzzle of protein complexity within plasma and blood cells. In this review article we purported to sail across the mare magnum of the actual knowledge in this research endeavour. The main strides in proteomic investigations on red blood cells, platelets, plasma and white blood cells are hereby presented in a chronological order. Moreover, a glance is given at prospective studies which promise to shift the focus of attention from the end product to its provider, the donor, in a sort of Kantian "Copernican revolution". A well-rounded portrait of the usefulness of proteomics in blood-related research is accurately given. In particular, proteomic tools could be adopted to follow the main steps of the blood-banking production processes (a comparison of collection methods, pathogen inactivation techniques, storage protocols). Thus proteomics has been recently transformed from a mere basic-research extremely-expensive toy into a dramatically-sensitive and efficient eye-lens to either delve into the depths of the molecular mechanisms of blood and blood components or to establish quality parameters in the blood-banking production chain totally anew.
(c) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.