The mammalian immune system, as part of its response to a viral infection, does something akin to a shotgun proteomics experiment. Viral proteins are digested, and the resulting peptides are presented—as a mixture—in a form that can be recognised by circulating T cells. In this article, I follow the ‘experiment’ through its various stages, and discover that it is possible for a real-life proteomics experiment to pick up from where the in vivo processes left off.
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Contributed by George Preston
George is a Research Associate at King’s College London.