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There is an exponential increase in biological complexity as initial gene transcripts are spliced, translated into amino acid sequence, and post-translationally modified. Each protein can exist as multiple chemical or sequence-specific proteoforms, and each has the potential to be a critical mediator of a physiological or pathophysiological signaling cascade. Here, we provide an overview of how different proteoforms come about in biological systems and how they are most commonly measured using mass spectrometry-based proteomics and bioinformatics. Our goal is to present this information at a level accessible to every scientist interested in mass spectrometry and its application to proteome profiling. We will specifically discuss recent data linking various protein post-translational modifications to cardiovascular disease and conclude with a discussion for enablement and democratization of proteomics across the cardiovascular and scientific community. The aim is to inform and inspire the readership to explore a larger breadth of proteoform, particularity post-translational modifications, related to their particular areas of expertise in cardiovascular physiology.

(C) 2018 American Heart Association, Inc.