To understand the spectrum of proteins affected by diabetes and to characterize molecular functions and biological processes they control, we analyzed the renal cortical proteome of db/db mice using 2-DE combined with MALDI-TOF, MALDI-TOF/TOF, and LC-MS/MS. This approach yielded 278 high confidence identifications whose expression levels were significantly increased or decreased >two-fold by diabetes, of which 170 mapped to gene identifiers representing 147 nonredundant proteins. Gene Ontology classification demonstrated that 80% of these proteins modulated physiological functions, 55% involved metabolism, approximately 25% involved carboxylic and organic acid metabolism, 14% involved biosynthesis or catabolism, and 12% involved fatty acid metabolism. Predominant molecular functions were catalytic (61%), oxidoreductase (20%), and transferase (17%) activities, and nucleotide and ATP binding (11-15%). Twenty eight percent of the proteins identified as significantly altered by diabetes were mitochondrial proteins. The top-ranked network described by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis indicated PPARalpha was the most common node of interaction for the numerous enzymes whose expression levels were influenced by diabetes. These differentially regulated proteins create a foundation for a systems biology exploration of molecular mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of diabetic nephropathy.