There is an increasingly growing interest world-wide for the genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics of saliva and the oral cavity, since they provide a non-invasive source of unprecedently rich genetic information. The complexity of oral systems biology goes much beyond the human genome, transcriptome and proteome revealed by oral mucosal cells, gingival crevicular fluid, and saliva, and includes the complexity of the oral microbiota, the symbiotic assembly of bacterial, fungal and other microbial flora in the oral cavity. In our review we summarize the recent information on oral genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics, of both human and microbial origin. We also give an introduction and practical advice on sample collection, handling and storage for analysis. Finally, we show the usefulness of salivary and oral genomics in early diagnosis of cancer, as well as in uncovering other systemic diseases, infections and oral disorders. We close the review by highlighting a number of possible exploratory pathways in this emerging, hot research field.
Keywords: Saliva, genome, transcriptome, proteome, systemic diseases, oral diseases, screening, early diagnosis
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