Much progress has recently been made in the genomic and transcriptional characterization of tumors. However, historically the characterization of cells at the protein level has suffered limitations in reproducibility, scalability and robustness. Recent technological advances have made it possible to accurately and reproducibly portray the global levels and active states of cellular proteins. Protein microarrays examine the native post-translational conformations of proteins including activated phosphorylated states, in a comprehensive high-throughput mode, and can map activated pathways and networks of proteins inside the cells. The reverse-phase protein microarray (RPPA) offers a unique opportunity to study signal transduction networks in small biological samples such as human biopsy material and can provide critical information for therapeutic decision-making and the monitoring of patients for targeted molecular medicine. By providing the key missing link to the story generated from genomic and gene expression characterization efforts, functional proteomics offer the promise of a comprehensive understanding of cancer. Several initial successes in breast cancer are showing that such information is clinically relevant.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)