Functional proteomics

What is the proteome?

The proteome refers to the set of proteins that make up the cells and tissues of a living the same way that the genome refers to the set of inherited genes in each individual - including genes that govern the synthesis of proteins in the body, hence the name 'proteome'. Whilst the human body has approximately 30,000 genes, it also has several hundreds of thousands (or maybe several million) of different proteins. Medical science has identified all the genes, even if it hasn't identified all of their functions. Conversely, science has only identified a limited number of proteins, barely 80,000 of the hundreds of thousands and has identified the function of even fewer. Or, to sum it up another way: in the human body it's proteins that make us tick. The quantitative or qualitative change of a single type of protein may be enough to determine a pathological problem and a therapeutic solution. This defines functional biology.

What is proteomics?

While the proteome can be easily defined as the catalogue of all the proteins in the body - a catalogue that identifies them along with their functions - proteomics is a more extensive concept that covers additional aspects:

  • The study of the structure of all proteins.
  • The study of the way proteins are interconnected within the that we 'tick over'.
  • The study of protein functions in the body.
  • A demonstration of the diagnostic value, preventive, and therapeutic aspects of proteins.

What is the Proteomis report?

While it's true that proteins 'make us tick', we can simplify the description of a Proteomis report by saying it allows us to see 'what's going on behind closed doors' in the invisible, insensitive, silent world of molecular biology. It's a way to turn a hidden image into one that is visible.

Historically, medical examinations can diagnose certain conditions:

  • an eye examination: tumors, wounds, swelling, edema,
  • listening for: rhonchus, wheezing, midsystolic murmurs,
  • or talking with the patient: pain, anguish.

These visual or auditory symptoms can be further examined under the microscope or with a stethoscope. But diagnostic methods were limited until the recent arrival of infrared microscopy. It was therefore impossible to perform a medical examination at a genomic or proteomic level.

The Proteomis report observes life in an invisible, silent sub-microscopic world.

It is a clinical, proteomic method, a revolutionary idea.

What does the Proteomis report contain?

The Proteomis report is serum-based. Solid tissue is not studied. Only blood serum is involved.

It's based on the fact that a system comprises of a set of interacting elements. The study of a system begins with the study of its elements, in this case the proteome. It can also start by studying interactions, which is the basis of proteomics.

The Proteomis record is a partial study of molecular kinetics, by introducing specific reagents to a patient's serum (in vitro). It relies on a physical characteristic of colloidal solutions: - solvation, which is the protein macromolecules' ability to attract or to exclude when the ionic balance of the solvent is altered. The method begins with a series of flocculation tests that have been pre-selected and are executed according to a stringently codified technology. Quantitative assessments of each floc are processed by computer to build a pseudo-curve, or image, of the patient at a given time.

From proteomics to the proteome

The modern scientific world was first interested in the proteome itself. Once it had isolated and identified proteins, it then sought to characterize their proteomic features.

Being thirty years ahead of its time, CEIA first sought to characterize the bio-physical balance of serum in each individual - proteomics - followed by structural studies of the proteome itself.

To understand more about the proteome, CEIA used conventional methods of analysis of the protein content:

  • The determination of total protein
  • The serine-globulin relationship
  • Conventional protein electrophoresis
  • Isoelectric focusing of proteins
  • Two-dimensional electrophoresis.

The study of the proteome is of great heuristic value to proteomic study as a whole, whilst the study of variations of the serum colloid structure helps in our understanding of the functional value of proteome elements.

Proteome, diagnostics and therapies

The modern scientific world has high expectations of the proteome and its ability to present biomarkers for the diagnosis of diseases and their treatment via statistical and technological means.

The increase or decrease in one type of protein in the blood, as well as the simultaneous variation of several proteins, can help predict disease.

In the therapeutic field, much is expected of the proteome, for example the manufacture of new active molecules on particular targets and to characterize the therapeutic activity of many non-chemically defined products.

The increase or inhibition of a protein or set of proteins may be sufficient to have a remarkable therapeutic effect.

Graphic presentation

The Proteomis report's aim of testing the reactivity of the serum colloidal system in the presence of specific chemical or biological reagents has helped highlight a previously unknown phenomenon:

The structure of the colloidal system is genetically predetermined.

This structure is not the result of the increase or decrease of an isolated protein identified in the proteome, but rather the dynamics of all the proteins in the serum system.

In itself, the form of the evolving structure is already diagnostic, so it's important to take this into account so as to establish an effective, personalized treatment.