A Decade After the Genome, Scientists Map the ‘Proteome’
Nearly all the body’s cells contain identical DNA. So why does a neuron grow up so differently than a liver cell? Proteins are the key, says Akhilesh Pandey, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University. This week, two papers in Nature (one by Pandey’s team) catalog where in the body certain proteins are found. But what matters isn’t just where proteins show up—it’s how they twist and fold, says David Pincus, a fellow at MIT’s Whitehead Institute. Protein misfolding, for example, is a hallmark of neurodegenerative disease.
Akhilesh Pandey is a professor genetic medicine, pathology, oncology and biological chemistry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.
David Pincus is a fellow at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Christopher Intagliata was Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.