Partnership for human proteome mapping enters second phase

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Agilent Technologies has announced that its collaboration with the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) for the mapping of the complete human proteome by mass spectrometry is entering its second phase. The ISB and ETH Zurich announced completion of the first phase of this two-year project, including generating gold-standard reference mass spectra for each of 20,300 genes currently annotated as protein-encoding in the human genome. The project is expected to fuel research gains in biomarker discovery and validation, the search for protein-based diagnostic tests, personalised medicine and human health monitoring.

'Agilent is a strong proponent of taking an integrated-biology approach to solving important health challenges,' said Gustavo Salem, Agilent vice president and general manager, Biological Systems Division. 'In recent years, we’ve devoted a great deal of effort to developing highly sensitive and selective proteomics tools for research, and we’re delighted to see them being used to such great effect for this vital work.'

The original collaboration, announced in October 2009, included using Agilent triple-quadrupole and quadrupole time-of-flight liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) systems, nanoflow HPLC-Chip/MS systems, and protein analysis software at ISB in Seattle and ETH Zurich, to create a map of all human proteins.

The project is headed by ISB's Robert Moritz and ETH Zurich's Ruedi Aebersold, along with ISB president Leroy Hood. Support at ISB is by the USA's National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health, which provided $2.7m in direct funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The project at ETHZ was supported by ERC Advanced Grant Proteomics, who supplied funding for five years totalling €2.4m.

The data will be made accessible to the research community through the ISB/ETH SRMAtlas database as part of the ISB/ETH PeptideAtlas project.