Gene-specific correlation of RNA and protein levels in human cells and tissues
Transcriptomics does have some significance after all.
It is considerably easier to determine shifts in transcript levels when compared to shifts in protein levels. But how significant are such shifts? Transcripts are only units of information, they have hardly any direct effects. Can we deduce changes on the protein levels from shifts in transcript levels? This question has been contentious for a very long time; according to Edfors and colleagues it is possible to use transcript levels as proxies for protein levels as long as we refer to individual proteins. In this case relations between transcript and protein levels were relatively stable when comparing different human tissues or cell lines. When comparing different genes, however, we have to be aware that transcript/protein-levels may vary over a wide range (200 – 220 000).