The Human Eye Proteome Project: perspectives on an emerging proteome

Proteomics. 2013 Aug;13(16):2500-11. doi: 10.1002/pmic.201300075.


There are an estimated 285 million people with visual impairment worldwide, of whom 39 million are blind. The pathogenesis of many eye diseases remains poorly understood. The human eye is currently an emerging proteome that may provide key insight into the biological pathways of disease. We review proteomic investigations of the human eye and present a catalogue of 4842 nonredundant proteins identified in human eye tissues and biofluids to date. We highlight the need to identify new biomarkers for eye diseases using proteomics. Recent advances in proteomics do now allow the identification of hundreds to thousands of proteins in tissues and fluids, characterization of various PTMs and simultaneous quantification of multiple proteins. To facilitate proteomic studies of the eye, the Human Eye Proteome Project (HEPP) was organized in September 2012. The HEPP is one of the most recent components of the Biology/Disease-driven Human Proteome Project (B/D-HPP) whose overarching goal is to support the broad application of state-of-the-art measurements of proteins and proteomes by life scientists studying the molecular mechanisms of biological processes and human disease. The large repertoire of investigative proteomic tools has great potential to transform vision science and enhance understanding of physiology and disease processes that affect sight.

Keywords: Biomedicine; Cornea; Eye; Retina; Vision.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research
  • Databases, Protein*
  • Eye / chemistry
  • Eye / metabolism*
  • Eye Proteins / analysis
  • Eye Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Proteome / analysis
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Proteomics


  • Eye Proteins
  • Proteome