Biomarkers

Biomarkers for Protein Characterisation

A biomarker is a substance used as an indicator of a biologic state, and that is measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal or disease state. Serum has been used for decades as a source of biomarkers to give clues to the health of an individual. Proteins are vital parts of living organisms, as they are the main components of the physiological metabolic pathways of cells. By applying advanced proteomics-based separation and identification approaches to the investigation of the serum proteome, scientists have dramatically increased the number of proteins characterised in human serum.

The systematic exploration of the serum proteome is driven by hopes that many of the identified proteins can be used for diagnostic purposes. Using an array of protein biomarkers, it should also become possible to monitor therapy, categorise patients who will respond to particular treatment regimes and identify novel protein-based drug targets. The proteomics group at NICB is investigating serum biomarkers for lung, colorectal, pancreatic and breast carcinoma, and for ocular melanomas and multiple myeloma.

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Martin Clynes (martin.clynes@dcu.ie)

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