Proteomics is the study of the proteome—the "PROTEin complement of the genOME"
More specifically, "the qualitative and quantitative comparison of proteomics under different conditions to further unravel biological processes"
What Makes Proteomics Important?
A cell’s DNA - its genome - describes a blueprint for the cell’s potential, all the possible forms that it could conceivably take. It does not describe the cell’s actual, current form, in the same way that the source code of a computer program does not tell us what input a particular user is currently giving his copy of that program.
All cells in an organism contain the same DNA.
This DNA encodes every possible cell type in that organism-muscle, bone, nerve, skin, etc.
If we want to know about the type and state of a particular cell, the DNA does not help us, in the same way that knowing what language a computer program was written in tells us nothing about what the program does.
There are more than 160,000 genes in each cell, only a handful of which actually determine that cell’s structure.
Many of the interesting things about a given cell’s current state can be deduced from the type and structure of the proteins it expresses.
Changes in, for example, tissue types, carbon sources, temperature and stage in life of the cell can be observed in its proteins.
Proteomics in Disease Treatment
Nearly all major diseases—more than 98% of all hospital admissions—are caused by a particular pattern in a group of genes.
Isolating this group by comparing the hundreds of thousands of genes in each of many genomes would be very impractical.
Looking at the proteomes of the cells associated with the disease is much more efficient. Many human diseases are caused by a normal protein being modified improperly. This also can only be detected in the proteome, not the genome.
The targets of almost all medical drugs are proteins. By identifying these proteins, proteomics aids the progress of pharmacogenetics.