Swedish researchers unveil a pioneering human protein database to identify and fight disease
Aug 29 2005 - Swedish researchers today unveiled the web-based Human Protein Atlas - a major breakthrough which will help scientists and the world’s research community track and understand how proteins in the human body react to disease.
Launched at the Human Proteome Organisation Conference (HUPO) in Munich, Germany, this pioneering atlas of more than 400,000 images of healthy and diseased human tissues showing where proteins are localised, will enable scientists to recognise different types of diseases by tracking where these proteins are active in the human body. The project, when completed, is expected to map all 22,000 estimated human proteins in the body, significantly impacting the design and advancement of new treatments and drugs for cancer and other diseases.
The research has been carried out by a team from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and Uppsala University and is led by Professor Mathias Uhlén. Based on the successful international effort to the map the human genome, the Human Proteome Resource (HPR) project has now taken these genes and mapped them as proteins.
Commenting on the HPR project, Mathias Uhlén said,” If you go in to a pharmacy today, about 98 percent of the drugs are directed towards proteins. We hope that our work with the Human Proteome Resource will help academic researchers and the pharmaceutical industry to identify and hone their targets for the development of new medicines.
“It might also enable diagnostic application for early diagnosis of cancer and other diseases and to facilitate predictions if a particular drug will have potential side effects” added Uhlén.
The database can be accessed at (www.proteinatlas.org).
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