Objective: Over the past decade, the development of high-throughput technologies for DNA and protein analysis has revolutionized the ways in which cells can be studied. Within a relatively short time frame, research has changed from studying individual genes and proteins to analyzing entire genomes and proteomes.
Approach: In this article, we summarize the technologies and concepts that form the basis of this functional genomics approach.
Results: Microarray and next-generation sequencing technologies have allowed researchers to investigate many different aspects of the cell, including DNA mutations, histone modifications, DNA methylation, chromatin structure, transcription, and translation on a genome-wide level. In addition, mass spectrometry technologies have undergone significant development and currently enable us to globally profile protein levels, protein-protein interactions, post-translational protein modifications, and metabolites.
Innovation and conclusion: The integration of information from the various processes that occur within a cell provides a more complete picture of how genes give rise to biological functions, and will ultimately help us to understand the biology of organisms, in both health and disease.