Proteomics and the microbiome: pitfalls and potential

Huafeng Lin, Qing-Yu He, Lei Shi, Mark Sleeman, Mark S. Baker, Edouard C. Nice

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Human symbiotic microbiota are now known to play important roles in human health and disease. Significant progress in our understanding of the human microbiome has been driven by recent technological advances in the fields of genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics. As a complementary method to metagenomics, proteomics is enabling detailed protein profiling of the microbiome to decipher its structure and function and to analyze its relationship with the human body. Fecal proteomics is being increasingly applied to discover and validate potential health and disease biomarkers, and Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)-approved instrumentation and a range of clinical assays are being developed that will collectively play key roles in advancing personalized medicine. Areas covered: This review will introduce the complexity of the microbiome and its role in health and disease (in particular the gastrointestinal tract or gut microbiome), discuss current genomic and proteomic methods for studying this system, including the discovery of potential biomarkers, and outline the development of clinically accepted protocols leading to personalized medicine. Expert commentary: Recognition of the important role the microbiome plays in both health and disease is driving current research in this key area. A proteogenomics approach will be essential to unravel the biologies underlying this complex network.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-511
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Review of Proteomics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • biomarker
  • Fecal proteomics
  • genomics
  • human microbiome
  • personalized medicine

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