What is proteomics

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The focus of proteomics is a biological group called the proteome. The proteome is dynamic, defined as the set of proteins expressed in a specific cell, given a particular set of conditions. The goal of proteomics is to analyze the varying proteomes of an organism at different times, in order to highlight differences between them. Put more simply, proteomics analyzes the structure and function of biological systems. For example, the protein content of a cancerous cell is often different from that of a healthy cell. Certain proteins in the cancerous cell may not be present in the healthy cell, making these unique proteins good targets for anti-cancer drugs. The realization of this goal is difficult; both purification and identification of proteins in any organism can be hindered by a multitude of biological and environmental factors.

Studying proteins generates insight on how proteins affect cell processes. Conversely, this study also investigates how proteins themselves are affected by cell processes or the external environment.

Proteins provide intricate control of cellular machinery, and are in many cases components of that same machinery. They serve a variety of functions within the cell, and there are thousands of distinct proteins and peptides in almost every organism.