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Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Proteins and Proteomics
xx, No. xx, 2013; Pages: xxx–xxx

Bioinformatics tools for secretome analysis?

Dario Cacciaa, Matteo Dugob, Maurizio Callarib, c, Italia Bongarzonea

Proteomics Laboratory, Department of Experimental Oncology and Molecular Medicine, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.


Over recent years, analyses of secretomes (complete sets of secreted proteins) have been reported in various organisms, cell types, and pathologies and such studies are quickly gaining popularity. Fungi secrete enzymes can break down potential food sources; plant secreted proteins are primarily parts of the cell wall proteome; and human secreted proteins are involved in cellular immunity and communication, and provide useful information for the discovery of novel biomarkers, such as for cancer diagnosis. Continuous development of methodologies supports the wide identification and quantification of secreted proteins in a given cellular state. The role of secreted factors is also investigated in the context of the regulation of major signaling events, and connectivity maps are built to describe the differential expression and dynamic changes of secretomes. Bioinformatics has become the bridge between secretome data and computational tasks for managing, mining, and retrieving information. Predictions can be made based on this information, contributing to the elucidation of a given organism's physiological state and the determination of the specific malfunction in disease states. Here we provide an overview of the available bioinformatics databases and software that are used to analyze the biological meaning of secretome data, including descriptions of the main functions and limitations of these tools. The important challenges of data analysis are mainly related to the integration of biological information from dissimilar sources. Improvements in databases and developments in software will likely substantially contribute to the usefulness and reliability of secretome studies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: An Updated Secretome.

Keywords:Secretome data analysis;System biology; Bioinformatics; Biological database; Proteomics.



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