The importance of understanding the role of proteins in diseases—as drugs, drug targets, and biomarkers—has increased remarkably in recent years. In fact, it is now undeniably clear that proteins play an important role in the discovery of remedies for a wide range of serious diseases. A more detailed picture of the proteome is now available; and the serious risks of inducing protein changes post-sampling and throughout analysis are also now apparent.
Intrinsic enzymatic activity results in protein degradation and loss of post-translational modifications. As a direct consequence, analytical results reflect a mixture of the in vivo proteome and its ex vivo degradation products, leading to confounding results that don’t reflect the true biological situation and immensely increase the risk of false biomarker discoveries. The issue of post-sampling changes must be adequately addressed in order to realize the full potential of protein studies.