Proteomics describes, analogous to the term genomics, the study of the complete set of proteins present in a cell, organ, or organism at a given time. The genome tells us what could theoretically happen, whereas the proteome tells us what does happen. Therefore, a genomic-centered view of biologic processes is incomplete and does not describe what happens at the protein level. Proteomics is a relatively new methodology and is rapidly changing because of extensive advances in the underlying techniques. The core technologies of proteomics are 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis, liquid chromatography, and mass spectrometry. Proteomic approaches might help to close the gap between traditional pathophysiologic and more recent genomic studies, assisting our basic understanding of cardiovascular disease. The application of proteomics in cardiovascular medicine holds great promise. The analysis of tissue and plasma/serum specimens has the potential to provide unique information on the patient. Proteomics might therefore influence daily clinical practice, providing tools for diagnosis, defining the disease state, assessing of individual risk profiles, examining and/or screening of healthy relatives of patients, monitoring the course of the disease, determining the outcome, and setting up individual therapeutic strategies. Currently available clinical applications of proteomics are limited and focus mainly on cardiovascular biomarkers of chronic heart failure and myocardial ischemia. Larger clinical studies are required to test whether proteomics may have promising applications for clinical medicine. Cardiovascular surgeons should be aware of this increasingly pertinent and challenging field of science.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine