Michelle Hill, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, and The University of Queensland, Australia
Through the leadership of HUPO and Chromosome-centric HPP over the past several years, we now have a relatively complete ‘Parts List’ of the human proteome. The B/D-HPP initiatives spearheaded the characterization of tissue-specific proteomes in health and disease conditions, with most studies on adult-derived samples, and model organisations. The HPP-PediOme has a clear focus on the proteomic analyses of pediatric samples, including newborns, infants, young children and adolescents.
In addition to providing biomarkers for diagnosis of pediatric-specific conditions, pediatric proteome studies can also reveal early disease mechanisms for common adult conditions such as diabetes and obesity, thus contributing to prevention of disease. While proteomics analyses of pediatric samples present some obvious challenges, such as difficulty of sample collection and the limited sample volume compared to adult samples, the reduced number of potential confounding conditions may simplify the biomarker study design and analyses.
The human pediatric proteome (PediOme) project aims to co-ordinate an international effort to drive characterization of the human pediatric proteome in health and disease. Early efforts focussed on existing studies in pediatric proteomics, through a special Issue of Proteomics - Clinical Applications in December 2014, Focus on Proteomics in Paediatrics, and a review series in Clinical Proteomics from November 2015 to April 2016.
The current co-chairs, Vera Ignjatovic (Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Australia), Hanno Steen (Boston Children’s Hospital, USA) and Allen Everett (Johns Hopkins, USA) have developed a list of goals for the HPP-PediOme, including:
- To create a worldwide pediatric biorepository network and inventory
- To standardize the protocols for pediatric specific proteomic studies
- To facilitate training, as well as collaboration between clinicians and scientist, thereby enable translation of outcomes.
Ultimately, the PediOme Project aims to fully characterize the healthy pediatric proteome from birth until adulthood, and to utilize the knowledge of the pediatric proteome for the prevention of major adult diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. For more information and to participate, please visit HPP-PediOme, or contact one of the co-chairs.