A subcellular map of the human proteome

Science. 2017 May 26;356(6340):eaal3321. doi: 10.1126/science.aal3321. Epub 2017 May 11.


Resolving the spatial distribution of the human proteome at a subcellular level can greatly increase our understanding of human biology and disease. Here we present a comprehensive image-based map of subcellular protein distribution, the Cell Atlas, built by integrating transcriptomics and antibody-based immunofluorescence microscopy with validation by mass spectrometry. Mapping the in situ localization of 12,003 human proteins at a single-cell level to 30 subcellular structures enabled the definition of the proteomes of 13 major organelles. Exploration of the proteomes revealed single-cell variations in abundance or spatial distribution and localization of about half of the proteins to multiple compartments. This subcellular map can be used to refine existing protein-protein interaction networks and provides an important resource to deconvolute the highly complex architecture of the human cell.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Datasets as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Molecular Imaging*
  • Organelles / chemistry*
  • Organelles / metabolism*
  • Protein Interaction Mapping
  • Protein Interaction Maps*
  • Proteome / analysis*
  • Proteome / genetics
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Single-Cell Analysis*
  • Subcellular Fractions
  • Transcriptome


  • Proteome