The 20 S proteasome complexes are major contributors to the intracellular protein degradation machinery in mammalian cells. Systematic administration of proteasome inhibitors to combat disease (e.g. cancer) has resulted in positive outcomes as well as adversary effects. The latter was attributed to, at least in part, a lack of understanding in the organ-specific responses to inhibitors and the potential diversity of proteomes of these complexes in different tissues. Accordingly, we conducted a proteomic study to characterize the 20 S proteasome complexes and their postulated organ-specific responses in the heart and liver. The cardiac and hepatic 20 S proteasomes were isolated from the same mouse strain with identical genetic background. We examined the molecular composition, complex assembly, post-translational modifications and associating partners of these proteasome complexes. Our results revealed an organ-specific molecular organization of the 20 S proteasomes with distinguished patterns of post-translational modifications as well as unique complex assembly characteristics. Furthermore, the proteome diversities are concomitant with a functional heterogeneity of the proteolytic patterns exhibited by these two organs. In particular, the heart and liver displayed distinct activity profiles to two proteasome inhibitors, epoxomicin and Z-Pro-Nle-Asp-H. Finally, the heart and liver demonstrated contrasting regulatory mechanisms from the associating partners of these proteasomes. The functional heterogeneity of the mammalian 20 S proteasome complexes underscores the concept of divergent proteomes among organs in the context of an identical genome.