The current chapter was designed to keep the reader informed about the present status of pulmonary proteome. Taken together, the results documented here demonstrate that, after a decade of activity, proteomics of pulmonary diseases is catching up with its promise. The constantly growing number of reports in this area supports the view of this approach as one of the decisive methodological tools for the identification/characterization of disease-associated proteins. In terms of experimental procedures, the basic options available for proteomic investigations consist in the identification of proteins through the use of gel-based or gel-free techniques followed by MS. Obviously, the question arises of whether sophisticated technologies (such as the non-gel-based proteomic procedures) may currently be more fruitful, in terms of candidate protein marker identification, than “conventional” (read electrokinetic) approaches. In light of the versatility and high degree of reproducibility shown by these new potent strategies, a positive answer is perhaps not surprising. Nevertheless, as documented in this chapter, despite being less sophisticated than competing ones, gel-based techniques still represent a widely used procedure able to generate a reliable protein “fingerprint” and to produce qualitative and quantitative information on the protein patterns of a variety of human fluids.
Part of the book: Electrophoresis