Antibody-based Proteomics and Biomarker Research - Current Status and Limitations

Proteomics. 2014 Mar;14(6):774-83. doi: 10.1002/pmic.201300334.


Antibody-based proteomics play a very important role in biomarker discovery and validation, facilitating the high-throughput evaluation of candidate markers. Most proteomics-driven discovery is nowadays based on the use of MS. MS has many advantages, including its suitability for hypothesis-free biomarker discovery, since information on protein content of a sample is not required prior to analysis. However, MS presents one main caveat which is the limited sensitivity in complex samples, especially for body fluids, where protein expression covers a huge dynamic range. Antibody-based technologies remain the main solution to address this challenge since they reach higher sensitivity. In this article, we review the benefits and limitations of antibody-based proteomics in preclinical and clinical biomarker research for discovery and validation in body fluids and tissue. The combination of antibodies and MS, utilizing the best of both worlds, opens new avenues in biomarker research.

Keywords: Antibodies; Biomedicine; Mass spectrometry; Protein arrays; SRM.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / analysis*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Proteome / analysis*
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Validation Studies as Topic


  • Antibodies
  • Biomarkers
  • Proteome