Proteome analysis at the level of subcellular structures

Eur J Biochem. 2003 Feb;270(4):589-99. doi: 10.1046/j.1432-1033.2003.03426.x.


The targeting of proteins to particular subcellular sites is an important principle of the functional organization of cells at the molecular level. In turn, knowledge about the subcellular localization of a protein is a characteristic that may provide a hint as to the function of the protein. The combination of classic biochemical fractionation techniques for the enrichment of particular subcellular structures with the large-scale identification of proteins by mass spectrometry and bioinformatics provides a powerful strategy that interfaces cell biology and proteomics, and thus is termed 'subcellular proteomics'. In addition to its exceptional power for the identification of previously unknown gene products, the analysis of proteins at the subcellular level is the basis for monitoring important aspects of dynamic changes in the proteome such as protein transloction. This review summarizes data from recent subcellular proteomics studies with an emphasis on the type of data that can retrieved from such studies depending on the design of the analytical strategy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Computational Biology
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Peptide Mapping
  • Proteins / analysis*
  • Proteome / analysis*
  • Proteomics*
  • Subcellular Fractions / chemistry


  • Proteins
  • Proteome