Human blood plasma provides a highly accessible window to the proteome of any individual in health and disease. Since its inception in 2002, the Human Proteome Organization's Human Plasma Proteome Project (HPPP) has been promoting advances in the study and understanding of the full protein complement of human plasma and on determining the abundance and modifications of its components. In 2017, we review the history of the HPPP and the advances of human plasma proteomics in general, including several recent achievements. We then present the latest 2017-04 build of Human Plasma PeptideAtlas, which yields ∼43 million peptide-spectrum matches and 122,730 distinct peptide sequences from 178 individual experiments at a 1% protein-level FDR globally across all experiments. Applying the latest Human Proteome Project Data Interpretation Guidelines, we catalog 3509 proteins that have at least two non-nested uniquely mapping peptides of nine amino acids or more and >1300 additional proteins with ambiguous evidence. We apply the same two-peptide guideline to historical PeptideAtlas builds going back to 2006 and examine the progress made in the past ten years in plasma proteome coverage. We also compare the distribution of proteins in historical PeptideAtlas builds in various RNA abundance and cellular localization categories. We then discuss advances in plasma proteomics based on targeted mass spectrometry as well as affinity assays, which during early 2017 target ∼2000 proteins. Finally, we describe considerations about sample handling and study design, concluding with an outlook for future advances in deciphering the human plasma proteome.
Keywords: Human Proteome Project; mass spectrometry; plasma; proteomics.