Publications / SAND Report

High-throughput proteomics : optical approaches

Davidson, George S.

Realistic cell models could greatly accelerate our ability to engineer biochemical pathways and the production of valuable organic products, which would be of great use in the development of biofuels, pharmaceuticals, and the crops for the next green revolution. However, this level of engineering will require a great deal more knowledge about the mechanisms of life than is currently available. In particular, we need to understand the interactome (which proteins interact) as it is situated in the three dimensional geometry of the cell (i.e., a situated interactome), and the regulation/dynamics of these interactions. Methods for optical proteomics have become available that allow the monitoring and even disruption/control of interacting proteins in living cells. Here, a range of these methods is reviewed with respect to their role in elucidating the interactome and the relevant spatial localizations. Development of these technologies and their integration into the core competencies of research organizations can position whole institutions and teams of researchers to lead in both the fundamental science and the engineering applications of cellular biology. That leadership could be particularly important with respect to problems of national urgency centered around security, biofuels, and healthcare.