The use of proteomics in urological research
Rehman I., Azzouzi AR., Catto JWF., Hamdy FC.
Proteomics is the branch of science concerned with understanding the expression, interactions and functions of proteins. Recent technical advances in the separation, analysis and identification of proteins combined with sophisticated bioinformatics, have allowed the technique to be applied to a multitude of diseases, including urological malignancies. Although two-dimensional gel electrophoresis combined with peptide mass fingerprinting has been the 'workhorse' of proteomics, other techniques such as Surface Enhanced Laser Desorption Ionisation Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (SELDI-TOF-MS), Isotope Coded Affinity Tag (ICAT) and Stable Isotope Labelling by Amino-acids in Culture (SILAC), are amongst the emerging technologies showing great promise. Much of the previous studies into urological malignancies have been fuelled by the urgent need to identify accurate biomarkers for the diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of disease. The purpose of this review is to firstly give an overview of the basic concepts of commonly used proteomic techniques and to highlight their advantages and limitations. Secondly, the applications of these techniques to the study of urological malignancies (prostate, bladder and kidney) are reviewed. Finally, the future challenges faced by proteomics are discussed. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.