After years of extensive data analysis and study about yeast cell protein abundance, scientists from the University of Toronto's Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research found that there are some 42 million protein molecules in a simple cell.
The work was led by Biochemistry Professor, Grant Brown, and carried out in collaboration with Anastasia Baryshnikova - a University of Toronto alum and now Principal Investigator at Calico, a California biotechnology company that focuses on ageing.
Many diseases are caused by an excess or lack of a certain protein, therefore the more we know about how protein abundance is controlled, the more likely we'll be able to fix it when it goes awry.
"It was hard to conceptualise how many proteins there are in the cell because the data was reported on drastically different scales," said Brandon Ho, graduate student in the Brown lab who did most of the work on the project.
"This study will be of great value to the entire yeast community and beyond," said Robert Nash, Senior Biocurator of the Saccharomyces Genome Database that will make the data available to researchers worldwide. He also added that by presenting protein abundance "in a common and intuitive format, the Brown lab has provided other researchers with the opportunity to re-examine this data and thereby facilitate study-to-study comparisons and hypothesis generation."