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Protein microarray is a high-throughput method used mainly for tracking the interactions and activities of proteins, and to determine their function. Complete genome sequence of very many organisms available and an analysis of (cancer) patient genomic information on the brink of becoming routine, the next challenge will be a comprehensive investigation of the functional roles of the encoded proteins. This knowledge will be crucial for a better understanding of the very many biochemical processes that are responsible for cellular functioning. Research in this field will particularly focus on the elucidation of pathological mechanisms that underlie disease, and the identification of avenues for targeting drug activity or other medically relevant interventions. Proteins are involved in almost every biological process. In continuation of earlier developments at the level of nucleic acids, protein array formats are obvious candidates for contributing to the evaluation of protein activity and interaction. The combination of high sensitivity, essentially procedural simplicity and robustness and the capacity of multiplexing analyses without losing information about the individual molecule make protein microarrays a promising addition to the tool arsenal for proteome exploration. In most eukaryotes, ubiquitination is another prominent posttranslational modification and involved in several cellular processes, such as proteostasis, organelle biogenesis, immune response and cell cycle control. A protein microarray based approach used HECT domain E3 ligase and protein Rsp5 associated with E1 and E2 enzymes to determine protein substrates for ubiquitination. About 90 novel substrates were identified, and some of them validated in vivo to be Rsp5 substrates. In the field of drug discovery, arrays were used for target identification and validation. Huang et al. were first to describe the use of protein microarrays for small molecule screens. They looked for molecular targets of rapamycin inhibitors and identified novel members of the TOR signalling pathway in this study. Since it is possible to measure the interactions of proteins and small molecules, drug off-target effects can be determined and better understood. (Lueong SS, Hoheisel JD, Saeed Alhamdani MS, Protein Microarrays as Tools for Functional Proteomics: Achievements, Promises and Challenges)
Last date updated on July, 2014