Purified thylakoid membranes from the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 were used for the first time in proteomic studies. The membranes were prepared by a combination of sucrose density centrifugation and aqueous polymer two-phase partitioning. In total, 76 different proteins were identified from 2- and 1-D gels by MALDI-TOF MS analysis. Twelve of the identified proteins have a predicted Sec/Tat signal peptide. Fourteen of the proteins were known, or predicted to be, integral membrane proteins. Among the proteins identified were subunits of the well-characterized thylakoid membrane constituents Photosystem I and II, ATP synthase, cytochrome b6f-complex, NADH dehydrogenase, and phycobilisome complex. In addition, novel thylakoid membrane proteins, both integral and peripheral were found, including enzymes involved in protein folding and pigment biosynthesis. The latter were the chlorophyll biosynthesis enzymes, light-dependent protochlorophyllide reductase and geranylgeranyl reductase as well as phytoene desaturase involved in carotenoid biosynthesis and a water-soluble carotenoid-binding protein. Interestingly, in view of the protein sorting mechanism in cyanobacteria, one of the two signal peptidases type I of Synechocystis was found in the thylakoid membrane, whereas the second one has been identified previously in the plasma membrane. Sixteen proteins are hypothetical proteins with unknown function.