Exploring the membrane proteome--challenges and analytical strategies

J Proteomics. 2010 Mar 10;73(5):868-78. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2010.01.005. Epub 2010 Jan 21.


The analysis of proteins in biological membranes forms a major challenge in proteomics. Despite continuous improvements and the development of more sensitive analytical methods, the analysis of membrane proteins has always been hampered by their hydrophobic properties and relatively low abundance. In this review, we describe recent successful strategies that have led to in-depth analyses of the membrane proteome. To facilitate membrane proteome analysis, it is essential that biochemical enrichment procedures are combined with special analytical workflows that are all optimized to cope with hydrophobic polypeptides. These include techniques for protein solubilization, and also well-matched developments in protein separation and protein digestion procedures. Finally, we discuss approaches to target membrane-protein complexes and lipid-protein interactions, as such approaches offer unique insights into function and architecture of cellular membranes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Lipids
  • Membrane Proteins / analysis*
  • Proteome / analysis*
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Solubility
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Lipids
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Proteome