An international consortium of researchers has created a catalogue of proteins that build the human tissues and organs, pinpointing which proteins are present where and at what levels. The catalogue will help in new drug development.
Part of the Human Protein Atlas project launched in 2003, the catalogue also pictures proteins in individual cells and generates an open source database of 13 million images.
To profile proteins the researchers examined 44 human tissue and organ samples using a technique that exploits antigen–antibody interaction. The antigen here is a protein in the sample and antibody a reagent that binds to the protein.
Since antibody reagents were available only for a handful of proteins, the team had to make scores of reagents in-house to be able to spot every protein. There are 20,000 odd protein-coding genes, some of which code for more than one. In all, they deployed 24,028 reagents corresponding to proteins coded by almost 17,000 genes…
Photo credit: The Human Protein Atlas