Journal of chromatography. B, Analytical technologies in the biomedical and life sciences vol:803 issue:1 pages:3-16
Peptides occur in the whole animal kingdom, from the least evolved phyla with a very simple nervous system (coelenterates) to the highest vertebrates and are involved in most, if not all, physiological processes in animals. Knowing the amino acid sequence of peptide hormones or neurotransmitters is important since this allows for synthesis of large quantities of peptides to perform further functional analysis. Immunocytochemistry, radioimmunoassays (RIA), enzyme-linked immunosorbant assays (ELISA) and mass spectrometry can then provide information on the temporal and spatial distribution and quantification of the (neuro)peptide. Ever since the 1970s, a wealth of peptides has been discovered and investigated and this flow seems to be far from over. This is partially due to the use of new approaches mainly based on chromatographical purifications as well as molecular biological techniques. Surprisingly, peptides have so far been neglected in most proteomic studies. The finalization of the genome projects has opened new opportunities for rapid identification and functional analysis of (neuro)peptides as well. In analogy with the proteomics technology, where all proteins expressed in a cell or tissue are analyzed, the peptidomic approach aims at the simultaneous visualization and identification of the whole peptidome of a cell or tissue. i.e. all expressed peptides with their post-translational modifications (PTMs). This technology provides us with a fast and efficient tool to analyze the peptides from any tissue. This paper reviews the approaches that have been used so far to achieve this. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.