Cell surface membrane proteins are involved in central processes such as cell signaling, cell-cell interactions, ion and solute transport, and they seem to play a pivotal role in several steps of the metastatic process of cancer cells. The low abundance and hydrophobic nature of cell surface membrane proteins complicate their purification and identification by MS. We used two isogenic cell lines with opposite metastatic capabilities in nude mice to optimize cell surface membrane protein purification and to identify potential novel markers of metastatic cancer. The cell surface membrane proteins were isolated by centrifugation/ultracentrifugation steps, followed by membrane separation using a Percoll/sucrose density gradient. The gradient fractions containing the cell surface membrane proteins were identified by enzymatic assays. Stable isotope labeling of the proteome of the metastatic cell line by SILAC followed by mass spectrometry analysis enabled identification and quantification of proteins that were differentially expressed in the two cell lines. Dual stable isotopic labels ((13)C-arginine and (13)C-lysine) instead of a single label ((13)C-arginine) increased the percentage of proteins that could be quantified from 40 to 93%. Repeated LC-MS/MS analyses (3-4 times) of each sample increased the number of identified proteins by 60%. The use of Percoll/sucrose density separation allowed subfractionation of membranes leading to enrichment of membrane proteins (66%) and reduction from 33% to only 16% of protein from other membranous organelles such as endoplasmatic reticulum, Golgi, and mitochondria. In total, our optimized methods resulted in 1919 protein identifications (corresponding to 826 at similarity level 80% (SL80); 1145 (509 at SL80) were identified by two or more peptides of which 622 (300 at SL80) were membrane proteins. The quantitative proteomic analysis identified 16 cell surface proteins as potential markers of the ability of breast cancer cells to form distant metastases.