What is kinomics?
Kinomics is a subset of proteomics and is the study of all of the protein kinases expressed in a cell or tissue at any point in time. Kinases are proteins that act as “master switches” for many normal cell functions in the body and are the major new cancer drug targets of the 21st century.
Kinases direct phosphorylation-based signalling inside cells. While the human genome encodes 518 protein kinase genes, approximately 200 of them are present in any one cell or tissue at any one time, making up the cellular “kinome”. Kinomics is a completely new medical research discipline, based on identification of the cellular kinome in a rapid, systematic and global way.
Combining chemical biology with MS has allowed development of new ways to identify and study the near complete cellular kinome in a single work-flow. Kinomics research is a continuous pipeline, which requires two distinct classes of MS equipment: “discovery” instruments for identification and characterization of kinases; and “quantitative” systems for large scale kinase quantification, as well as verification, validation and profiling.
Comprehensive analysis of the kinome will improve our understanding of cell signalling and diseases where this signalling has gone awry, including cancer, neurological conditions, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory conditions and asthma. Kinomics has enormous potential to help researchers identify therapeutically relevant protein kinase targets for accelerating drug discovery.