Peptide arrays for kinome analysis: new opportunities and remaining challenges.
Phosphorylation is the predominant mechanism of post-translational modification for regulation of protein function. With central roles in virtually every cellular process, and strong linkages with many diseases, there is a considerable interest in defining, and ultimately controlling, kinase activities. Investigations of human cellular phosphorylation events, which includes over 500 different kinases and tens of thousands of phosphorylation targets, represent a daunting challenge for proteomic researchers and cell biologists alike. As such, there is a priority to develop tools that enable the evaluation of cellular phosphorylation events in a high-throughput, and biologically relevant, fashion. Towards this objective, two distinct, but functionally related, experimental approaches have emerged; phosphoproteome investigations, which focus on the sub-population of proteins which undergo phosphorylation and kinome analysis, which considers the activities of the kinase enzymes mediating these phosphorylation events. Within kinome analysis, peptide arrays have demonstrated considerable potential as a cost-effective, high-throughput approach for defining phosphorylation-mediated signal transduction activity. In particular, a number of recent advances in the application of peptide arrays for kinome analysis have enabled researchers to tackle increasingly complex biological problems in a wider range of species. In this review, recent advances in kinomic analysis utilizing peptides arrays including several of the biological questions studied by our group, as well as outstanding challenges still facing this technology, are discussed. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.