Protein microarrays: new tools for pharmaceutical development

Kumble, K. D.
November 2003
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Nov2003, Vol. 377 Issue 5, p812
Academic Journal
Protein microarrays are a relatively new technology, which will dramatically impact the pharmaceutical industry. The critical need for more rapid identification of novel drug targets, and for obtaining high-quality information early in the target validation process is a major driver for the industry. High-throughput protein analytical techniques are critical for obtaining biological information beyond that which transcript analysis can provide, given that proteins are the "worker bees" in cells. The vast complexity of proteins when compared to DNA and RNA in terms of sheer number, and structural and biochemical diversity requires a higher degree of sophistication in both assay design and data analysis. High-throughput microarray technology platforms allow for simultaneous, multi-parametric analysis of complex protein mixtures. Protein microarrays have tremendous potential as a tool for the study of protein–protein, enzyme–substrate, and antibody–antigen interactions among others. They can also be used for biomarkers and drug target identification via comparative proteomic analysis of healthy and disease tissues. More recently, cellular microarrays that enable identification of cell-surface receptors and other cell-surface proteins allowing rapid screening of cell-specific, novel drug targets, are being developed. This review will focus on the technical issues and potential applications of protein microarrays in pharmaceutical discovery.


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