The use of 30 human tissues different has allowed scientists to identify proteins encoded by the 17294 genes, which is around the 84% of all genes in the human genome.
In addition, the team has also reported the identification of 193 new proteins from regions of the genome.
All of this shows that the human genome is more complex than previously thought. Of course, this cataloging project could be an important resource for biological research and medical diagnosis.
«You can think of the human body as a huge library in which each protein is a book"Says Akhilesh Pandey, professor at the McKusick - Nathans Institute for Genetic Medicine and of biological chemistry, pathology and oncology at Johns Hopkins University and the founder and director of the Institute for Bioinformatics. "The difficulty is that we do not have a complete catalog that gives us the titles of the available books and where to find them. We think we now have a good first draft of that full catalog”.
The genes they determine many of the characteristics of an organism, and they do so through instructions for making proteins.
Many researchers consider that a catalog of human proteins and their location in the body can be even more instructive and useful than the catalog of genes in the human genome. The study of proteins is technically much more complicated than the study of genes. This is because the structures and functions of proteins are complex and diverse.
A simple list of existing proteins it wouldn't be very useful without the consequent information about where the proteins are in the body. Thus, most of the protein studies to date have focused on different tissues, often within the context of specific diseases.
The scientists began the research by taking samples of 30 tissues to achieve a more complete study of the proteome. From these 30 tissues their proteins and small pieces of enzymes called peptides were extracted. They then used the peptides to determine their identity and measure their relative abundance.
“By generating a large data set of human proteins we have made it easier for other researchers to identify proteins in their experiments.”Says Pandey. "We believe that our data will become the gold standard in the field, especially since it was all generated using consistent methods and analysis.”.
Within the genome, in addition to the DNA sequences that code for proteins, there are stretches of DNA whose sequences do not follow a gene pattern coding for the conventional protein and have therefore been labeled as "non-coding".
The most curious finding of the team was that 193 of the proteins that were identified could be traced to these regions “non-coding”Of DNA.
Pandey believes that the human proteome It is so vast and complex that the catalog will never be completed, but this work provides a solid and reliable foundation for others to continue working on.
Image: Jhons Hopkins University
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