Proteomics: An Evolving Technology in Laboratory Medicine (Report)
INTRODUCTION Completion of the Human Genome Project was a pivotal first step to revolutionize medicine in the 21st century (1). The completed human genome was found to contain between 30,000 and 35,000 genes, far less than the 100,000 genes predicted when the project commenced in the mid-1990s (2). Subsequently it was found that one gene can produce more than one protein, each with a different functional capability. The generation of multiple proteins from a single gene can occur as a result of alternate splicing where a single DNA template can produce several different messenger RNAs, each of which is then used to make different proteins (3). In addition, the protein may undergo modification by cellular processes after it is created (termed post-translational modification). The result is that one gene can produce as many as 1,000 different proteins. On average, however, a gene produces five to ten different proteins (4).