Applications of proteomics in the study of inflammatory bowel diseases: Current status and future directions with available technologies

Philip Alex, Marjan Gucek, Xuhang Li

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are chronic, heterogeneous, and multifactorial intestinal inflammatory disorders. Major challenges in IBD research include identification of major pathogenic alterations of genes/proteins as well as effective biomarkers for early diagnosis, prognosis, and prediction of therapeutic response. Since proteins govern cellular structure and biological function, a wide selection of proteomic approaches enables effective characterization of IBD pathogenesis by investigating the dynamic nature of protein expression, cellular and subcellular distribution, posttranslational modifications, and interactions at both the cellular and subcellular levels. The aims of this review are to 1) highlight the current status of proteomic studies of IBD, and 2) introduce the available and emerging proteomic technologies that have potential applications in the study of IBD. These technologies include various mass spectrometry technologies, quantitative proteomics (2D-PAGE, ICAT, SILAC, iTRAQ), protein/antibody arrays, and multiepitope-ligand cartography. This review also presents information and methodologies, from sample selection and enrichment to protein identification, that are not only essential but also particularly relevant to IBD research. The potential future application of these technologies is expected to have a significant impact on the discovery of novel biomarkers and key pathogenic factors for IBD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)616-629
Number of pages14
JournalInflammatory bowel diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009


  • Biomarkers
  • Crohn's disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Proteomics
  • Ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Gastroenterology


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