Rapidly maturing field of proteomics: A gateway to studying diseases



The proteomics work reported by Smith et al. represents a giant step forward in characterizing the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) proteome in mouse models of human diseases. Whereas prior studies were limited to analysis of CSF pools, Smith et al. (Proteomics 2014, 14, 1102–1106) base their conclusions on data derived from individual mice, thereby capturing a fuller range of the biological diversity present. These results underscore how far proteomics has come in the past few years, developing into a modern tool with the capacity to remove bottlenecks in the study of neuropsychiatric diseases. Past efforts with mass spectrometry (MS) have been hampered by limitations in access to CSF samples, and small volumes when available. These barriers have been overcome with newer MS platforms and advances in sample preparation. We are far closer than before to producing the production of clinically useful proteomic data for biomarker discovery and for deriving insights into pathogenesis that can lead to more effective treatments for many diseases.