Introduction

Pharmacoproteomics refers to the discovery and use of protein markers for disease diagnosis, toxicology, drug efficacy, and patient prognosis. Although these activities are by no means new to biomedical research, a number of developments have made possible the global analysis of proteins direct from diseased tissues or body fluids. These advances are predicted to yield unprecedented information about the effects of disease and pharmaceutical intervention on the entire set of naturally existing proteins, that is, the pro-teome, leading to the discovery of better indicators for disease treatment and drug development. The field of proteomics is currently undergoing rapid development and, although considerably less comprehensive and structured than, say, genomic microarray technology, nevertheless has significantly benefited from the advances in computer programming and data management applied to genomics. The coupling of these developments with the entire drug discovery process is now seen in most major pharmaceutical companies, many of which have large, dedicated pharmacogenomic and transcriptomic departments. Although proteomics is being used increasingly in drug discovery, lack of standardization and the need for greater efficiency means that it has not yet been incorporated to the same degree as the other "-omics" fields. In this chapter, the emerging field of pharmacoproteomics will be discussed in terms of the historical perspective of protein targets and markers, and, where current needs may be met by proteomics, followed by a description of existing and emerging protein discovery technologies.

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