Scientists map over 17,000 proteins in human body

By Salome Phelamei | Updated: May 29, 2014, 14:08 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Salome Phelamei

Bangalore: In a landmark find, a team of international researchers led by Indian scientists, for the first time, in the world has mapped more than 17,000 proteins in 30 organs of the human body.

The research was carried out by the scientists of the Institute of Bioinformatics, National Institute of Mental Health and NeuroSciences (Nimhans), Bangalore and Johns Hopkins University, and will be published in the journal Nature.

The team discovered 17,294, which account for around 84% of the total proteins. They also found 2,535 proteins that had been classified as “missing proteins”. It has also found 200 new proteins that had not even been predicted before.

“Though India did not take part in human genome project, successful completion of a human proteome map by Indian researchers now puts India at the front of global efforts to illustrate the human proteome. This is really a matter for pride and satisfaction for science and researchers working in India,” Akhilesh Pandey, who is the lead researcher, founder director of Institute of Bioinformatics, Bangalore, and professor of Johns Hopkins University, was quoted as saying.

It took over two years for the researchers to complete the project. The research was done on 30 different human tissues, including brain, liver and blood cells.

According to Harsha Gowda, a scientist at the IOB, “It was the perfect combination of technology and know-how. After the genome profiling, proteomes were the most obvious thing to do. Proteome profiling is more difficult because they show varied expression in different organs.”

The team comprised of 72 scientists, of which, 46 are Indians.

The discovery is seen as an important breakthrough in the medical field as it will hep unravel the root cause of many diseases such as heart problems, cancers, diabetes and others.