The vast majority of clinical tissue samples are formalin-fixed and paraffin-preserved. This type of preservation has been considered an obstacle to protein extraction from these tissues. However, these are the very tissue samples that have associated patient histories, diagnoses and outcomes – ideal samples in the quest to translate bench research into clinical applications. Thus, until recently, these valuable specimens have been unavailable for proteomic analysis. Over the last decade, researchers have been exploring efficient methods to undo protein cross-linking caused by standard tissue fixatives and extract proteins from archived tissue specimens. These methods have been applied in different clinical proteomic studies. In this report, we attempt to review the development of these techniques, summarize the proteomic findings, and discuss the impact on future clinical proteomics.
Keywords: Proteomics, protein extraction, fixed tissue, paraffin, formalin, Hollandes, laser capture microdissection
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