Prediction of the human membrane proteome

Proteomics. 2010 Mar;10(6):1141-9. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200900258.


Membrane proteins are key molecules in the cell, and are important targets for pharmaceutical drugs. Few three-dimensional structures of membrane proteins have been obtained, which makes computational prediction of membrane proteins crucial for studies of these key molecules. Here, seven membrane protein topology prediction methods based on different underlying algorithms, such as hidden Markov models, neural networks and support vector machines, have been used for analysis of the protein sequences from the 21,416 annotated genes in the human genome. The number of genes coding for a protein with predicted alpha-helical transmembrane region(s) ranged from 5508 to 7651, depending on the method used. Based on a majority decision method, we estimate 5539 human genes to code for membrane proteins, corresponding to approximately 26% of the human protein-coding genes. The largest fraction of these proteins has only one predicted transmembrane region, but there are also many proteins with seven predicted transmembrane regions, including the G-protein coupled receptors. A visualization tool displaying the topologies suggested by the eight prediction methods, for all predicted membrane proteins, is available on the public Human Protein Atlas portal (

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Computational Biology / methods
  • Databases, Protein
  • Genome, Human
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Proteome*


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Proteome