The wordproteome describes protein expressed by a genome. Proteomics is a scientific endeavor that attempts to study the sum total of all of the proteins in a cell from the point of view of their individual functions and how the interaction of specific proteins with other cellular components affects the function of these proteins. Not surprisingly, this is a very complex task. There are many more proteins than there are genes, and in biochemical pathways, a protein rarely acts by itself. At present, we know that the expression of multiple genes is involved for any given disease process. "Simply" knowing the gene sequence rarely unmasks the function of the encoded protein or its relevance to a disease. Consequently, the science of proteomics is not developed to the point at which drug discovery can be driven by gene sequence information. There have been, however, some significant technology-driven approaches to the field. High-throughput high-resolution mass spectroscopy allows the amino acid sequences of proteins to be determined very quickly. The technique of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis has likewise advanced the science of proteomics. Proteomics will, undoubtedly, eventually provide targets for drug discovery and the detection of disease states.
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