This Methodological Review is intended as a guide for research students who may have just discovered a human "novel" cardiac protein, but it may also help hard-pressed reviewers of journal submissions on a "novel" protein reported in an animal model of human heart failure. Whether you are an expert or not, you may know little or nothing about this particular protein of interest. In this review we provide a strategic guide on how to proceed. We ask: How do you discover what has been published (even in an abstract or research report) about this protein? Everyone knows how to undertake literature searches using PubMed and Medline but these are usually encyclopaedic, often producing long lists of papers, most of which are either irrelevant or only vaguely relevant to your query. Relatively few will be aware of more advanced search engines such as Google Scholar and even fewer will know about Quertle. Next, we provide a strategy for discovering if your "novel" protein is expressed in the normal, healthy human heart, and if it is, we show you how to investigate its subcellular location. This can usually be achieved by visiting the website "Human Protein Atlas" without doing a single experiment. Finally, we provide a pathway to discovering if your protein of interest changes its expression level with heart failure/disease or with ageing.
Keywords: Human Protein Atlas (HPA); Human protein discovery; Literature search engines; Quertle; Sydney Heart Bank (SHB); Tissue microarrays.
Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.