Combinatorial chemistry & high throughput screening vol:8 issue:8 pages:669-677
With the sequencing of the genome of over 150 organisms, the field of biology has been revolutionised. Instead of studying one gene or protein at the time, it is now possible to study the effect of physiological or pathological changes on the expression of all genes or proteins in the organism. Proteomics aims at the simultaneous analysis of all proteins expressed by a cell, tissue or organism in a specific physiological condition. Because proteins are the effector molecules in all organisms, it is evident that changes in the physiological condition of an organism will be reflected by changes in protein expression and/or processing. Since the formulation of the concept of proteomics in the mid 90's proteomics has relied heavily on 2 dimensional gel electroforesis (2DGE) for the separation and visualization of proteins. 2DGE, however, has a number of inherent drawbacks. 2DGE is costly, fairly insensitive to low copy proteins and cannot be used for the entire proteome. Therefore, over the years, several gel-free proteomics techniques have been developed to either fill the gaps left by 2DGE or to entirely abolish the gel based techniques. This review summarizes the most important gel-free and gel-based proteomics techniques and compares their advantages and drawbacks.