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Affinity-based microarrays for proteomic analysis of cancer tissues


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Correspondence: Dr. Jörg D. Hoheisel, Functional Genome Analysis, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 580, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany


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Based on about a decade of technical developments in analysing the human proteome with antibody microarrays and experience in performing such analyses, now there are the means at hand for detailed and simultaneously global investigations of this kind. Many technical aspects have been dealt with of both the microarray format itself – such as overcoming kinetic and mass transport limitations and thus achieving accurate measurements – and ancillary processes – such as extraction procedures that provide good protein solubilisation, produce reproducible yields and preserve the native protein conformation as much as possible. The overall analysis process is robust and reproducible, highly sensitive down to the level of single-molecule detection and permits an analysis of several parameters on many molecules at a time. While the study of body liquids is widely applied, analyses of tissue proteomes are still scarce. However, conditions do exist to perform the latter at a quality level that meets the standards for clinical applications. This review highlights methodological aspects relevant for a biomedically useful analysis of cellular samples and discusses the potential of such studies, in particular, in view of personalised medicine approaches.