Genomics and Proteomics

Proteins are the final products of genes, which help perform the function that the gene encodes. Amino acids comprise proteins and play important roles in the cell. All enzymes (except ribozymes) are proteins that act as catalysts to affect the rate of reactions. Proteins are also regulatory molecules, and some are hormones. Transport proteins, such as hemoglobin, help transport oxygen to various organs. Antibodies that defend against foreign particles are also proteins. In the diseased state, protein function can be impaired because of changes at the genetic level or because of direct impact on a specific protein.

A proteome is the entire set of proteins that a cell type produces. We can study proteoms using the knowledge of genomes because genes code for mRNAs, and the mRNAs encode proteins. Although mRNA analysis is a step in the right direction, not all mRNAs are translated into proteins. Proteomics is the study of proteomes' function. Proteomics complements genomics and is useful when scientists want to test their hypotheses that they based on genes. Even though all multicellular organisms' cells have the same set of genes, the set of proteins produced in different tissues is different and dependent on gene expression. Thus, the genome is constant, but the proteome varies and is dynamic within an organism. In addition, RNAs can be alternately spliced (cut and pasted to create novel combinations and novel proteins) and many proteins modify themselves after translation by processes such as proteolytic cleavage, phosphorylation, glycosylation, and ubiquitination. There are also protein-protein interactions, which complicate studying proteomes. Although the genome provides a blueprint, the final architecture depends on several factors that can change the progression of events that generate the proteome.

Metabolomics is related to genomics and proteomics. Metabolomics involves studying small molecule metabolites in an organism. The metabolome is the complete set of metabolites that are related to an organism's genetic makeup. Metabolomics offers an opportunity to compare genetic makeup and physical characteristics, as well as genetic makeup and environmental factors. The goal of metabolome research is to identify, quantify, and catalogue all the metabolites in living organisms' tissues and fluids.

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