Although genetic microarray studies may provide potential pathogenic clues to understand MS, not every transcription event leads to equally efficient protein synthesis. To understand the role of post-translational protein modification, direct information on the protein composition of cells is needed. Recent progress in protein isolation and sequence determination currently allows resolution to roughly 1000 single spots, in patterns that are highly reproducible. Mass spectroscopy identifies protein sequences of lengths, which allow determination of the protein by screening suitable databases. As with microarray approaches, proteomic studies face similar limitations relating to the quality and characterization of the starting material. Furthermore, combining protein scanning with single cell or subcellular technologies remains a methodological challenge. The use of these approaches to study MS are still in their infancy.
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