Friday, October 7, 2005

Serolomics: High-Throughput Multiplexed Antibody Analysis

From Red Nova:

The report by Waterboer et al. (Waterboer T, Sehr P, Michael KM, Franceschi S, Nieland JD, Joos TO, et al. Multiplex human papillomavirus serology based on in situ-purified glutathione S-transferase fusion proteins. Clin Chem 2005;51:1845-53.) in this issue represents one of the most thorough attempts to develop a high-throughput system for simultaneous analysis of antibodies against a large number of antigens. High-throughput assays, notably through various types of arrays, are increasingly important research tools in modern molecular medicine, but almost all the technologic development has been directed toward the analysis of DNA, RNA, and proteins, with more limited technologic progress in the field of serology. Will we see multiplexed antibody analysis, "serolomics", arising as a new research field alongside genomics, RNomics, and proteomics?

Measurements of groups of antibodies can have application in multiple areas of medicine. Analysis of a broad spectrum of autoantibodies is increasingly used in predictive diagnostics of autoimmune diseases, and autoantibodies against oncogene products are being studied in predictive oncology. The most interesting medical application, however, would be to rapidly assay the spectrum of microbiological agents to which a person has been exposed because past infections can be highly predictive of the risk of future diseases. Important examples include cardiovascular diseases, allergies, and cancer. Exposure to infections accounts for ~17% of human cancers, with human papillomavirus (HPV) being one of the most important oncogenic infections. HPV infection causes almost all cervical cancers as well as a significant proportion of cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and oropharynx; together these HPV-related cancers account for >5% of all human cancers...

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