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February 17, 2024
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New tech IDs full-length human proteins individually.

Identifying Full-Length Human Proteins


  • New technology can identify individual full-length human proteins, preserving all information
  • The FRET X technique is more sensitive than mass spectrometry and can detect proteins in low concentrations

The latest research from Delft University of Technology introduces a new technique that allows researchers to identify individual, intact, full-length human proteins. This innovative technology, known as FRET X, offers extreme sensitivity, enabling the detection of proteins in low concentrations within complex mixtures. By cracking the code of proteins, this breakthrough opens up possibilities for earlier disease detection. While further study is needed, scientists are optimistic about the groundbreaking potential of this new technology.

Proteins are essential for cellular functions, but current methods for analyzing them have limitations when it comes to distinguishing between different forms of proteins, known as proteoforms. Traditional mass spectrometry techniques may struggle to provide clear information on specific post-translational modification sites and differentiate between sequences with multiple modifications. In contrast, the FRET X technology developed by the researchers at Delft University of Technology can identify proteins in their full-length form, offering crucial insights into disease mechanisms and enabling early diagnosis. This sensitivity allows for the detection of proteins characteristic of diseases like Parkinson’s and COVID-19 in small amounts, making it a promising tool for medical research and diagnostics.

Lead author Raman van Wee emphasizes the uniqueness of this approach, focusing on identifying intact and individual proteins in complex mixtures. This method has the potential to revolutionize the field of protein analysis and pave the way for new applications in disease detection and treatment. The study, published in Nature Nanotechnology, showcases the significant advancements made in protein identification and highlights the exciting possibilities that lie ahead with this new technology.

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