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First draft of the human proteome

Ten years on from the launch of the Human Proteome Project, researchers report the first draft of the proteome blueprint.

The Human Proteome Project (HPP)

A decade after the release of the Human Genome Project (HGP), the Human Proteome Organisation (HUPO) utilised this knowledge to launch an international scientific collaboration called the Human Proteome Project (HPP). This project, launched in 2010, aims to utilise community data and also connect a range of stakeholders to create a framework for collaboration, data sharing and quality assurance.

The project’s mission is to assemble and analyse community data to build a better understanding of the dynamic nature of the proteome. This mission aligns closely with HUPO’s aim of translating the code of life. From the start, the HPP had two strategic objectives:

  1. To credibly catalogue the human proteome parts and discover its complexity
  2. To make proteomics an integrated component of multi-omics studies

HPP specifically comprises two strategic initiatives – chromosome centric and biology/disease centric.

First draft

Their work, published in Nature Communications, reports a 90.4% complete high-stringency human proteome blueprint. This blueprint gives us a deeper understanding of how individual proteins interact to impact human health. Consequently, this provides insight into disease prevention and targeted therapeutics. Many human diseases are caused by changes in the composition or function of proteins. Therefore, mapping the proteome enhances the foundation of disease diagnosis, prediction and treatment. Most importantly, this work may also have implications for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and potential treatments.

Professor Chris Overall, University of British Columbia and co-author, stated:

“In COVID-19, for instance, there are two proteomes involved, that of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and that of the infected cells, both of which likely interact with, modify, and change the function of the other.

Understanding this relationship can shed light on why some cells and individuals are more resilient to COVID-19 and others more vulnerable, providing essential functional information about the human body that genomics alone cannot answer.”

Image credit: By vilmosvarga –

More on these topics

covid-19 / Human Genome Project / Proteome