Membrane proteins, which make up approximately 30% of all human proteins, are responsible for large number of diseases, and serve as targets for most of the drugs in the market. Although membrane proteins are accepted as valuable biomarkers in hematological and immunological diseases shown by the „cluster of differentiation” (CD) cell surface markers, their application for diagnosis in other cases is highly limited. This limitation arises mainly from the availability of membrane proteins from tissues for diagnostic methods and the lack of quantitative data on their expression level in a given tissue.

Since red blood cells are easily collectable, they can serve as a tool for membrane protein diagnostics. To provide a significant set of possible membrane protein biomarkers in red blood cell membrane, we applied MS on RBC ghosts. Our results, compared to other data sources including publications and databases of MS experiments, indicate that the description of the RBC proteome is incomplete as yet. In order to collect and survey the reported RBC membrane proteins we have generated the present database and web application that can serve as a platform to aid medical diagnostics based on membrane proteins.

This project is a joint effort of Hungarian and Swiss scientists: