June 11, 2018 – Genomics, Transcriptomics and Proteomics, Oh My!
In previous editions of the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study eUpdate, we’ve discussed genomics and transcriptomics, which leaves one last “omic” to tackle – proteomics. Proteomics is the study of all the proteins present in the cell, and their amounts and interactions; and attempts to create a snapshot of all these important processes in an organism.
The Raw Materials of Life
Proteins are an essential building block for all life forms. They’re critical for every organ system and they’re involved in cell processes as diverse as digestion and muscle contraction.
DNA contains the blueprint for proteins which are assembled from 20 different amino acids, according to a specific cell’s needs and function.
Like the transcriptome, the proteome can differ from cell to cell and from one moment to the next since it depends on the physiological state of the cell at a given time – it’s truly a moving target!
To complicate matters further, many proteins are modified after assembly and multiple protein-to-protein interactions are happening all the time.
Signposts for Disease?
The reason behind the growing interest in proteomics is that they represent an area rich with potential biomarkers of disease, especially cancer.
Cancer biomarkers are important in cancer diagnosis, prognosis and prediction. Veterinarians and physicians are always looking for ways to diagnose cancer earlier to improve treatment success. Earlier diagnosis also has the possibility of identifying potential causes, which in turn is an important step in prevention (the best treatment of all!). Earlier diagnosis may also help with:
- Prognosis – a forecast of long-term survival; an accurate prognosis has a direct bearing on subsequent treatment decisions.
- Prediction – an attempt to determine how well a patient will respond to treatment and potentially identify the treatments that will be most effective in an individual patient.
All “omics” have the potential to help us develop better and more precise biomarkers which will help identify cancer earlier and fight it more effectively. Golden Retriever Lifetime Study participants have contributed a “gold mine” of samples that may be used to help develop proteomics in veterinary medicine.
Read the latest issue of the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study eUpdate.