Functional proteomic analysis of human nucleolus

Mol Biol Cell. 2002 Nov;13(11):4100-9. doi: 10.1091/mbc.e02-05-0271.


The notion of a "plurifunctional" nucleolus is now well established. However, molecular mechanisms underlying the biological processes occurring within this nuclear domain remain only partially understood. As a first step in elucidating these mechanisms we have carried out a proteomic analysis to draw up a list of proteins present within nucleoli of HeLa cells. This analysis allowed the identification of 213 different nucleolar proteins. This catalog complements that of the 271 proteins obtained recently by others, giving a total of approximately 350 different nucleolar proteins. Functional classification of these proteins allowed outlining several biological processes taking place within nucleoli. Bioinformatic analyses permitted the assignment of hypothetical functions for 43 proteins for which no functional information is available. Notably, a role in ribosome biogenesis was proposed for 31 proteins. More generally, this functional classification reinforces the plurifunctional nature of nucleoli and provides convincing evidence that nucleoli may play a central role in the control of gene expression. Finally, this analysis supports the recent demonstration of a coupling of transcription and translation in higher eukaryotes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleolus / chemistry*
  • Cell Nucleolus / ultrastructure
  • Computational Biology
  • Databases, Protein
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Nuclear Proteins / analysis*
  • Nuclear Proteins / classification
  • Peptide Mapping
  • Proteome*


  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Proteome