Protein Microarrays as Tools for Functional Proteomics: Achievements, Promises and Challenges
Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics
The quest for a better understanding of organisms, and the human body in particular, at a comprehensive level has stimulated the development of techniques and processes that permit the analysis and assessment of biomedical information at high throughput. This has had substantial impact, not only by merely gathering knowledge but also by making scientists aware of the necessity to view organisms as complex biological systems rather than an assembly of individual biochemical pathways. Proteomics
... thways. Proteomics is still lagging behind genomics in this holistic analysis, however, because of the much higher degree of complexity that needs to be dealt with. Protein arrays, among other techniques, offer the prospect of advancing global protein analysis, similar to the impact of arrays in genomics. In basic research, protein arrays already contributed substantially, permitting the identification of many protein interactions and providing information on expression variations and structural changes, for example. Beside the fact of high throughput, arrays require relatively small reaction volumes, which is critical in view of the lack of means for in vitro protein amplification and beneficial for good assay sensitivity. Applications comprise many facets, such as the search for drug targets, analysis of host-parasite interactions and, above all, biomarker discovery. Despite the achievements and promises of the technology, it is still far from being a standard approach and many technical developments are ongoing. In this review, we look at the state of protein array technology and discuss future perspectives.