Insights into the regulation of protein abundance from proteomic and transcriptomic analyses

Nat Rev Genet. 2012 Mar 13;13(4):227-32. doi: 10.1038/nrg3185.


Recent advances in next-generation DNA sequencing and proteomics provide an unprecedented ability to survey mRNA and protein abundances. Such proteome-wide surveys are illuminating the extent to which different aspects of gene expression help to regulate cellular protein abundances. Current data demonstrate a substantial role for regulatory processes occurring after mRNA is made - that is, post-transcriptional, translational and protein degradation regulation - in controlling steady-state protein abundances. Intriguing observations are also emerging in relation to cells following perturbation, single-cell studies and the apparent evolutionary conservation of protein and mRNA abundances. Here, we summarize current understanding of the major factors regulating protein expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Proteins / analysis
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proteome / metabolism
  • Proteomics / methods
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*


  • Proteins
  • Proteome
  • RNA, Messenger