European and international collaboration in affinity proteomics

N Biotechnol. 2012 Jun 15;29(5):511-4. doi: 10.1016/j.nbt.2012.05.003.


In affinity proteomics, specific protein-binding molecules (a.k.a. binders), principally antibodies, are applied as reagents in proteome analysis. In recent years, advances in binder technologies have created the potential for an unprecedented view on protein expression and distribution patterns in plasma, cells and tissues and increasingly on protein function. Particular strengths of affinity proteomics methods include detecting proteins in their natural environments of cell or tissue, high sensitivity and selectivity for detection of low abundance proteins and exploiting binding actions such as functional interference in living cells. To maximise the use and impact of affinity reagents, it will be essential to create comprehensive, standardised binder collections. With this in mind, the EU FP7 programme AFFINOMICS (, together with the preceding EU programmes ProteomeBinders and AffinityProteome, aims to extend affinity proteomics research by generating a large-scale resource of validated protein-binding molecules for characterisation of the human proteome. Activity is directed at producing binders to about 1000 protein targets, primarily in signal transduction and cancer, by establishing a high throughput, coordinated production pipeline. An important aspect of AFFINOMICS is the development of highly efficient recombinant selection methods, based on phage, cell and ribosome display, capable of producing high quality binders at greater throughput and lower cost than hitherto. The programme also involves development of innovative and sensitive technologies for specific detection of target proteins and their interactions, and deployment of binders in proteomics studies of clinical relevance. The need for such binder generation programmes is now recognised internationally, with parallel initiatives in the USA for cancer (NCI) and transcription factors (NIH) and within the Human Proteome Organisation (HUPO). The papers in this volume of New Biotechnology are all contributed by participants at the 5th ESF Workshop on Affinity Proteomics organised by the AFFINOMICS consortium and held in Alpbach, Austria, in March 2011.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Introductory Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, Affinity / methods*
  • Europe
  • European Union
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation*
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Proteome / metabolism
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • United States


  • Proteins
  • Proteome