Michelle Hill, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, and The University of Queensland, Australia
More than 20 investigators across the globe are working together to unveil the proteins that allow us to see. The B/D-HPP EyeOME initiative began in 2013, under the leadership of Prof Richard Semba (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine). As for other HPP initiatives, the first task is to identify all of the eye proteins. For this arguably the most complex of organs, this task is far from simple; the human eye consists of diverse specialised tissues and biofluids.
Thanks to the collective efforts of proteomics researchers, the eye proteome database now contains a total of 9,782 non-redundant proteins for 11 eye tissues and biofluids, with the highest number (6,538 proteins) from vitreous humor and the lowest number (827) from aqueous humor. The database was curated under rigorous standards as highlighted in the recent article from the EyeOME team, which also outlined recommendations for human eye proteome studies.
The team is currently preparing a website to facilitate broader dissemination and usage. The international effort in EyeOME will provide a proteomic knowledgebase to increase our understanding of how the eye works at a molecular level. This knowledge will ultimately contribute to improved treatments for disorders of the eye.
The human eye proteome database is available for download here: Supplemental Table S2 xlsx.