Genomes to Proteomes
Biologists are awash with genomic sequence data. In large part, this is due to the rapid acceleration in the generation of DNA sequence that occurred as public and private research institutes raced to sequence the human genome. In parallel with the large human genome effort, mostly smaller genomes of other important model organisms were sequenced. Projects following on these initial efforts have made use of technological advances and the DNA sequencing infrastructure that was built for the human and other organism genome projects. As a result, the genome sequences of many organisms are available in high quality draft form.While in many ways this is good news, there are limitations to the biological insights that can be gleaned from DNA sequences alone; genome sequences offer only a bird's eye view of the biological processes endemic to an organism or community. Fortunately, the genome sequences now being produced at such a high rate can serve as the foundation for other global experimental platforms such as proteomics. Proteomic methods offer a snapshot of the proteins present at a point in time for a given biological sample. Current global proteomics methods combine enzymatic digestion, separations, mass spectrometry and database searching for peptide identification. One key aspect of proteomics is the prediction of peptide sequences from mass spectrometry data. Global proteomic analysis uses computational matching of experimental mass spectra with predicted spectra based on databases of gene models that are often generated computationally. Thus, the quality of gene models predicted from a genome sequence is crucial in the generation of high quality peptide identifications. Once peptides are identified they can be assigned to their parent protein. Proteins identified as expressed in a given experiment are most useful when compared to other expressed proteins in a larger biological context or biochemical pathway. In this chapter we will discuss the automatic annotation and the generation of high quality gene models, the setup and execution of global proteomics experiments that are quantitative and statistically rigorous and finally add biological context to proteomics.