Proteins, the subject of the emerging field of proteomics, are the catalysts of essentially all biological functions. The Seattle Proteomics Center proposes to develop, apply and disseminate the technologies required for the quantitative analysis of: 1. the proteins expressed in cells and tissues; 2. modifications to the proteins that may alter their activities; and 3. the assembly of proteins into the multi-component molecular machines which control and carry out most biological functions. The long-term focus of this proposal is to apply these technologies to the biology of the macrophage – a cell of central importance in chronic inflammatory responses that lead to disabling human diseases, which include atherosclerosis and chronic fibrotic lung diseases.
The goal of most current, large proteome projects is to catalogue diverse properties of proteins and to represent them in databases. In contrast, most biological and clinical studies are concerned with the detection of differences between physiological or pathological states, and the interpretation of such differences in terms of biological mechanisms. The detection of differences between cellular states is dependent on the quantitative analysis of molecular profiles. The SPC facilitates continual interplay between biologists from the University of Washington, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Institute for Systems Biology that comprise the Biology Working Groups and the Technology Working Group in order to allow testing and refinement of the new technology and provide constant input for new proteomic technologies to address emerging biological problems.
The overall goal of this Center is the development of an array of new, systematic assays to comprehensively study the dynamics of cells in health and disease. Validated technologies with generic applicability will be broadly disseminated.