Quantitative proteomic analysis of human embryonic stem cell differentiation by 8-plex iTRAQ labelling

PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e38532. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0038532. Epub 2012 Jun 18.


Analysis of gene expression to define molecular mechanisms and pathways involved in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) proliferation and differentiations has allowed for further deciphering of the self-renewal and pluripotency characteristics of hESC. Proteins associated with hESCs were discovered through isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ). Undifferentiated hESCs and hESCs in different stages of spontaneous differentiation by embryoid body (EB) formation were analyzed. Using the iTRAQ approach, we identified 156 differentially expressed proteins involved in cell proliferation, apoptosis, transcription, translation, mRNA processing, and protein synthesis. Proteins involved in nucleic acid binding, protein synthesis, and integrin signaling were downregulated during differentiation, whereas cytoskeleton proteins were upregulated. The present findings added insight to our understanding of the mechanisms involved in hESC proliferation and differentiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Integrins / metabolism
  • Proteome*
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Ribosomal Proteins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Integrins
  • Proteome
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Ribosomal Proteins