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Disease Markers
Volume 17 (2001), Issue 4, Pages 235-246

Protein Expression Analysis: From ‘Tip of the Iceberg’ to a Global Method

Peter James

Wallenberg Laboratory II, Lund University, P.O. Box 7031, SE-220 07 Lund, Sweden

Received 19 November 2001; Accepted 19 November 2001

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this review I will describe the advances that have recently been made in ‘traditional’ two-dimensional gel based protein expression analysis. A major jump has been made toward the automation of gel image analysis and comparison, one of the major bottlenecks in the analysis chain as well as the automation of spot excision and preparation for mass spectrometric analysis. Currently the gel-based ‘proteome mapping’ approach is highly effective and 300 gels and over 10,000 spots a week can be analysed. Very recently, viable alternatives to the use of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis have emerged and these approaches are discussed here. In combination with the recently developed stable isotopic tagging methods for peptide quantitation and new mass spectrometers, this emerging technology will be a rapid and highly effective alternative to gel-based methods with few of the latter's shortcomings.