The dawn of a new Proteomics era, just over a decade ago, allowed for large-scale protein profiling studies that have been applied in the identification of distinctive molecular cell signatures. Proteomics provides a powerful approach for identifying and studying these multiple molecular markers in a vast array of biological systems, whether focusing on basic biological research, diagnosis, therapeutics, or systems biology. This is a continuously expanding field that relies on the combination of different methodologies and current advances, both technological and analytical, which have led to an explosion of protein signatures and biomarker candidates. But how are these biological markers obtained? And, most importantly, what can we learn from them? Herein, we briefly overview the currently available approaches for obtaining relevant information at the proteome level, while noting the current and future roles of both traditional and modern proteomics. Moreover, we provide some considerations on how the development of powerful and robust bioinformatics tools will greatly benefit high-throughput proteomics. Such strategies are of the utmost importance in the rapidly emerging field of immunoproteomics, which may play a key role in the identification of antigens with diagnostic and/or therapeutic potential and in the development of new vaccines. Finally, we consider the present limitations in the discovery of new signatures and biomarkers and speculate on how such hurdles may be overcome, while also offering a prospect for the next few years in what could be one of the most significant strategies in translational medicine research.
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