Background: Plasma contains thousands of proteins, but a small number of these proteins comprise the majority of protein molecules and mass.
Content: We surveyed proteomic studies to identify candidates for high-abundance polypeptide chains. We searched the literature for information on the plasma concentrations of the most abundant components in healthy adults and for the molecular mass of the mature polypeptide chains in plasma. Because proteomic studies usually dissociate proteins into polypeptide chains or detect short peptide segments of proteins, we summarized data on individual peptide chains for proteins containing multiple subunits or polypeptides. We collected data on about 150 of the most abundant polypeptides in plasma. The abundant polypeptides span approximately the top 4 logs of concentration in plasma, from 650 to 0.06 micromol/L on a molar basis or from about 50,000 to 1 mg/L mass abundance.
Conclusions: Data on the concentrations of the high-abundance peptide chains in plasma assist in understanding the composition of plasma and potential approaches for clinical laboratory or proteomic analysis of plasma proteins. Development of more extensive databases regarding the plasma concentrations of proteins in health and diseases would promote diagnostic and proteomic advances.