SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 24 - Researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory said they have identified or confirmed the existence of 490 proteins in human blood serum, almost twice the number previous known, according to PNNL.
Using chromatography and mass spectrometry instead of the more traditional 2-D gel electrophoresis, PNNL researchers said they were able to screen for low-abundance proteins which are often obscured by the presence of higher-abundant proteins.
"With this study, we have taken a large step toward defining the protein composition of serum," PNNL staff scientist Joel Pounds said in a statement. "But many more steps and technological improvements are needed to move beyond these 490 proteins to the thousands of proteins that may be present in blood serum."
"After a long period of slow progress, research on the plasma proteome has begun a period of explosive growth attributable to new multidimensional fractionation methods," Leigh Anderson, CEO of The Plasma Proteome Institute, said in a statement. "PNNL's work is an important early demonstration of the power of these methods."
The research was published in the December issue of Molecular and Cellular Proteomics.
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