COMMENTARY

Proteomics, Saliva, and Sjögren's Syndrome

Robert I. Fox, MD; Carla M. Fox, RN

Disclosures

February 20, 2008

Introduction

The Rheumatology Journal Scan is the clinician's guide to the latest clinical research findings in Arthritis and Rheumatism, The Journal of Rheumatology, The New England Journal of Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, and other journals of interest in rheumatology. Short summaries of feature articles include links to the article abstracts when available. (Access to full-text articles usually requires registration at the specific journal's Web site.)

Arthritis and Rheumatism

Proteomic Study of Salivary Peptides and Proteins in Patients with Sjögren's Syndrome Before and After Pilocarpine Treatment.

Peluso G, De Santis M, Inzitari R, et al.
Arthritis Rheum. 2007;56(7):2216-2222.

Proteomics, as defined in MedicineNet, is the study of the proteome, the complete set of proteins produced by a species, using the technologies of large-scale protein separation and identification. Wikipedia.com defines Proteomics as the large-scale study of proteins, particularly their structures and functions.

The proteome of an organism is the set of proteins the organism produces during its lifetime, and its genome is its set of genes. The proteome set of proteins is expressed and modified following its expression by the genome. The term "proteome" was coined from the PROTEin complement of the genOME in 1994 by Marc Wilkins, a graduate student at Macquarie University in Australia, who defined it as "the study of proteins, how they are modified, when and where they are expressed, how they are involved in metabolic pathways, and how they interact with one another."

Proteomics is often considered the next step in the study of biologic systems, after genomics. It is much more complicated to study than genomics, mostly because while an organism's genome is rather constant, a proteome differs from cell to cell and constantly changes through its biochemical interactions with the genome and the environment.

One organism has radically different protein expression in different parts of its body, different stages of its life cycle and different environmental conditions. Another major difficulty is the complexity of proteins relative to nucleic acids. This increased complexity derives from mechanisms such as alternative splicing, protein modification (glycosylation, phosphorylation), and protein degradation.

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