In Nature this week, two groups independently report draft maps of the human proteome. In the first, a team from Johns Hopkins University, International Tech Park in Bangalore, India, and elsewhere provides profiles of the proteins expressed in different human cell types generated using mass spectrometry. They identified and annotated proteins encoded by 17,294 genes, accounting for around 84 percent of the annotated protein-coding genes in humans, while uncovering some novel protein-coding regions. In the second, researchers from the Munich University of Technology and elsewhere assemble protein evidence for around 18,000 human genes, including a core of 10,000 to 12,000 proteins expressed in several different tissues. They also identified protein markers that may predict drug responses. Both groups have made their datasets publicly available.
Also in Nature, a team from San Raffaele Scientific Institute and elsewhere presents details of a new targeted genome-editing technique that promises to improve gene therapies based on hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) repopulation. The strategy involves tailoring DNA delivery platforms and culture conditions to overcome the poor permissiveness to gene transfer and limited proficiency of the homology-direct DNA repair pathway that has constrained gene targeting in HSCs. They demonstrate the therapeutic potential of their approach by correcting a defective gene in X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency.