Harnessing the power of proteomics for identification of oncogenic, druggable signalling pathways in cancer.

Heather C Murray, Matthew D Dun, Nicole M Verrills,

Expert opinion on drug discovery, March 13, 2017

Genomic and transcriptomic profiling of tumours has revolutionised our understanding of cancer. However, the majority of tumours possess multiple mutations, and determining which oncogene, or even which pathway, to target is difficult. Proteomics is emerging as a powerful approach to identify the functionally important pathways driving these cancers, and how they can be targeted therapeutically. Areas Covered: The authors provide a technical overview of mass spectrometry based approaches for proteomic profiling, and review the current and emerging strategies available for the identification of dysregulated networks, pathways, and drug targets in cancer cells, with a key focus on the ability to profile cancer kinomes. The potential applications of mass spectrometry in the clinic are also highlighted. Expert opinion: The addition of proteomic information to genomic platforms - ‘proteogenomics’ - is providing unparalleled insight in cancer cell biology. Application of improved mass spectrometry technology and methodology, in particular the ability to analyse post-translational modifications (the PTMome), is providing a more complete picture of the dysregulated networks in cancer, and uncovering novel therapeutic targets. While the application of proteomics to discovery research will continue to rise, improved workflow standardisation and reproducibility is required before mass spectrometry can enter routine clinical use.

Pubmed Link: 28286965

DOI: 10.1080/17460441.2017.1304377