Abnormalities of the anterior cingulate cortex have previously been described in schizophrenia, major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. In this study 2-DE was performed followed by mass spectrometric sequencing to identify disease-specific protein changes within the anterior cingulate cortex in these psychiatric disorders. The 2-DE system comprised IPGs 4-7 and 6-9 in the first, IEF dimension and SDS-PAGE in the second dimension. Resultant protein spots were compared between control and disease groups. Statistical analysis indicated that 35 spots were differentially expressed in one or more groups. Proteins comprising 26 of these spots were identified by mass spectroscopy. These represented 19 distinct proteins; aconitate hydratase, malate dehydrogenase, fructose bisphosphate aldolase A, ATP synthase, succinyl CoA ketoacid transferase, carbonic anhydrase, alpha- and beta-tubulin, dihydropyrimidinase-related protein-1 and -2, neuronal protein 25, trypsin precursor, glutamate dehydrogenase, glutamine synthetase, sorcin, vacuolar ATPase, creatine kinase, albumin and guanine nucleotide binding protein beta subunit. All but three of these proteins have previously been associated with the major psychiatric disorders. These findings provide support for the view that cytoskeletal and mitochondrial dysfunction are important components of the neuropathology of the major psychiatric disorders.