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miércoles, 5 de septiembre de 2018

UNAM scientists participate in global proteome research

A group of investigators from UNAM is participating in a global initiative to study the human proteome: In other words, they will study all 500,000 proteins that form human cells, according to university authorities.

The study is called Human Proteome Project, a global initiative led by the Human Proteome Organization (HUPO), which consists of 25 scientific groups from 21 countries.

The international group will study all 24 pairs of chromosomes and the mitochondria. The project will be expected to conclude in 2028, by which time medicine will be expected to grow more individualized.

For the research, Mexico will focus on studying the proteins of the chromosome 19, which is associated with cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, hereditary hypercholesterolemia, and congenital hypothyroidism, among others.

Sergio Manuel Encarnación Guevara, an investigator from the Genomic Sciences Center at Mexico’s National Autonomous University (UNAM) will be leading Mexico’s participation in the project to identify, classify, quantify, and locate all proteins encoded in the human genome.

UNAM pointed out the importance of this international scientific initiative, which will seek to decrypt the functioning, actions, and sequences of amino acids and folding in every single human protein during the following decade.

Encarnación Guevara, head of the Mexican Proteomics Society, explained that gene products give cells and organisms their structure and proper functioning. “These products allow for cells to work, which is why it is so important that we get to know them,” he explained.

He added that, while the genome is a catalog of static gene sequences, the proteome is quite dynamic, with components that vary depending on the organism, tissue, or cellular behavior due to external factors such as their physiological condition, development stage, or the effect of drugs and stressful situations, among others.

The specialist emphasized that, through the Human Proteome Project, the international scientific community will seek to identify each of the proteins that are coded by all 24 chromosomes and the mitochondrial proteome, which will allow to define the protein catalog.

The project is also expected to throw light upon the biologic function of proteins, which will in turn render progress in the treatment of illnesses.


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