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So Many Proteins

When combined, the Human Proteome Map and Proteomics DB include more than 70 million mass spectra, Robert Lawrence and Judit Villén from the University of Washington write in Nature Biotechnology. And these resources, the duo note, "should be useful to researchers across the biomedical sciences."

From this mass of data, the Human Proteome Map team identified some 2,350 proteins that were found in each of the samples it analyzed, while the Proteomics DB group examined numerous datasets to home in on the between 10,000 and 12,000 proteins that are ubiquitously expressed, and most have roles in cellular control and maintenance.

"These two projects demonstrate the incredible potential of mass spectrometry to interrogate the human proteome using large-scale experiments," Lawrence and Villén say. They note, though, that there is still much to be investigated within the proteome.