Twenty years after the release of the human genome, the genetic “blueprint” of human life, an international research team, including the LSI’s Chris Overall, has now mapped the first draft sequence of the human proteome.
Their work was published Oct. 16 in Nature Communications and announced today by the Human Proteome Organization (HUPO). Overall is the only Canadian scientist involved in the Nature Communications paper.
“Today marks a significant milestone in our overall understanding of human life,” says Overall, a professor in the faculty of dentistry and a member of the Centre for Blood Research at UBC. “Whereas the human genome provides a complete ‘blueprint’ of human genes, the human proteome identifies the individual building blocks of life encoded by this blueprint: proteins. “Proteins interact to shape everything from life-threatening diseases to cellular structure in our bodies.”
With 90 per cent of the proteins in the human body now mapped, Overall says scientists have a deeper understanding of how individual proteins interact to influence human health, providing insights into disease prevention and individualized medicine.
The release of the 2020 Metrics of the HUPO Human Proteome Project (HPP) effort to credibly detect every protein of the human proteome has been released (see doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.0c00485). This report now provides evidence for detected expression for >90% of the 19,773 predicted proteins coded in the human genome.
Their work may have implications for scientists studying potential treatments for COVID-19. “In COVID-19, for instance, there are two proteomes involved, that of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and that of the infected cells, both of which likely interact with, modify, and change the function of the other,” says Overall. “Understanding this relationship can shed light on why some cells and individuals are more resilient to COVID-19 and others more vulnerable, providing essential functional information about the human body that genomics alone cannot answer.”
As many human diseases result from changes in the composition or functions of proteins, mapping the proteome strengthens the foundation for disease diagnosis, prediction of outcomes, treatment, and precision medicine.
“Humans share 99.9 per cent of their DNA between individuals, yet deficiencies in the proteome ‘parts’ stemming from inherited genetic mutations can lead to genetic diseases, or defective or inadequate immune and cellular responses to environmental, nutritional and infection stressors,” says Overall.
“Knowing which proteins are key to protection from disease, and the deficiencies in expression or activity that are hallmarks of disease, can inform individualized medicine and the development of new therapies.”
In 2010, the Human Proteome Organization launched the Human Proteome Project (HPP), as an international endeavor to create a framework for global collaboration, data sharing and quality assurance, enhancing accurate annotation of the genome-encoded proteome. Over the last decade, the key resources of the HPP (the Human Protein Atlas, PeptideAtlas, MassIVE and neXtProt knowledge bases) have driven the development and refinement of guidelines and metrics to understand the definitive identification of any protein of the human proteome. This report now provides evidence for detected expression for >90% of the 19,773 predicted proteins coded in the human genome. This knowledge is essential to discern the proteome’s role in health and disease.
Read the papers
Adhikari, S. et al. A High-Stringency Blueprint of the Human Proteome. Nature Communications doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.0c00485
Omenn, G.S. et at. Research on the Human Proteome Reaches a Major Milestone: >90% of Predicted Human Proteins Now Credibly Detected, According to the HUPO Human Proteome Project. Journal of Proteome Research. doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.0c00485
To illustrate the many parallel historical innovations made by the scientific community that have driven proteomics advances, HUPO has created a publicly available interactive historical timeline.