Proteomics

protein folding

Proteomics [proh-tee-om-iks] is the large-scale study of proteins, particularly their structures and functions. Proteins are vital parts of living organisms, as they are the main components of the physiological metabolic pathways of cells. The term ‘proteomics’ was first coined in 1997 to make an analogy with genomics, the study of the genes. The word ‘proteome’ is a blend of ‘protein’ and ‘genome,’ and was coined by Australian geneticist, Marc Wilkins, in 1994. The proteome is the entire complement of proteins, including the modifications made to a particular set of proteins, produced by an organism or system. This will vary with time and distinct requirements, or stresses, that a cell or organism undergoes.

After genomics, proteomics is considered the next step in the study of biological systems. It is much more complicated than genomics mostly because while an organism’s genome is more or less constant, the proteome differs from cell to cell and from time to time. This is because distinct genes are expressed in distinct cell types. This means that even the basic set of proteins which are produced in a cell needs to be determined.

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