Proteomics and mass spectrometry in nutrition research

Academic Article


  • The past decade has seen phenomenal leaps in technology development and implementation for analysis of biological experiments. No sooner had various genomes been sequenced than we were in the postgenome era, with the understanding that knowing what genes are turned on or off is only a beginning. Nonetheless, protein sequence databases for different phyla exist only because of the genome databases. However, we should be mindful that these genomic sequence databases are not writ in stone - that is, if a protein spot from a gel does not match a polypeptide in the human database with a sufficiently high Molecular Weight Search Engine MOWSE) score, it could be that the predicted sequence is not correct. Given these frailties in the system, the technologies available to the enthusiastic researcher are such that the limiting factors are the goodness of the experiment and the amount of sample and not identifying the protein or cataloging the metabolites. The kinds of experiments that nutrition researchers carry out are fundamentally no different from those in cell biology, physiology, or biochemistry in terms of amenability for analysis by the modern technologies discussed in this paper. Because of the expense of the instrumentation and the high degree of specialization of training required to generate and interpret MS data, the successful nutrition researchers and researchers in the other disciplines will be those who collaborate with other scientists who have the appropriate expertise in protein separation, statistics, and MS and available instrumentation. The next decade should see an explosion of information in nutrition sciences as nutrition researchers exploit these technologies.
  • Published In

  • Nutrition  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kim H; Page GP; Barnes S
  • Start Page

  • 155
  • End Page

  • 165
  • Volume

  • 20
  • Issue

  • 1