As body fluids are mined for diagnostic markers of specific diseases, the emerging field of peptidomics is receiving increased attention. Body fluids, such as human serum and saliva, contain a vast array of low-molecular-weight peptides. For example, we have shown that the ductal secretions from human salivary glands contain many peptides that are derived from histatins and proline-rich proteins. Further, we demonstrated that a small histatin fragment retained the candidacidal activity of the parent molecule. Subsequently, we applied an iTRAQ-driven approach to show diurnal variation of the relative abundances of individual peptide species, data that implied additional functional relevance. Peptidomics is, therefore, an important part of the biomarker discovery process
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