Drug addiction is a complex disorder driven by dysregulation in molecular signaling across several different brain regions. Limited therapeutic options currently exist for treating drug addiction and related psychiatric disorders in clinical populations, largely due to our incomplete understanding of the molecular pathways that influence addiction pathology. Recent work provides strong evidence that addiction-related behaviors emerge from the convergence of many subtle changes in molecular signaling networks that include neuropeptides (neuropeptidome), protein-protein interactions (interactome) and post-translational modifications such as protein phosphorylation (phosphoproteome). Advancements in mass spectrometry methodology are well positioned to identify these novel molecular underpinnings of addiction and further translate these findings into druggable targets for therapeutic development. In this review, we provide a general perspective of the utility of novel mass spectrometry-based approaches for addressing critical questions in addiction neuroscience, highlighting recent innovative studies that exemplify how functional assessments of the neuroproteome can provide insight into the mechanisms of drug addiction.
Keywords: drug abuse; interactome; neuropeptidomics; neuroproteome; phosphorylation.