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Proteomic strategies and their application in cancer research

  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2005
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
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The understanding of carcinogenesis and tumor progression on a molecular basis needs a detailed study of proteins as effector molecules and as critical components of the multiple interconnected signaling pathways that drive the neoplastic phenotype. Thus, the proteomic approach represents a powerful tool for the challenge of the post-genomic era. The term "cancer proteome" refers to the collection of proteins expressed by a given cancer cell and should be considered as a highly dynamic entity within the cell, which affects a variety of cellular activities. The emerging proteomic analysis platforms including 2D-PAGE, mass spectrometry technologies, and protein microarrays represent powerful tools to study and understand cancer. These systems aim to not only identify, catalogue, and characterize cancer proteins, but also to unveil how they interact to affect overall tumor progression. Moreover, recent studies on various cancers have reported promising results concerning the detection of novel molecular biomarkers useful in the early diagnosis of cancer and in drug discovery. Thus, a new subdiscipline named clinical proteomics, concomitant with new molecular technologies that are developed, demonstrates promise to discover new cancer biomarkers. The early diagnosis of cancer, even in a premalignant state, is crucial for the successful treatment of this disease. For these reasons, it is clear that the identification of biomarkers for the early diagnosis of cancer should represent one of the main goals of this emerging field of study.