Reverse-Phase Protein Array: Technology, Application, Data Processing, and Integration

J Biomol Tech. 2021 Apr;32(1):15-29. doi: 10.7171/jbt.21-3202-001.


Reverse-phase protein array (RPPA) is a high-throughput antibody-based targeted proteomics platform that can quantify hundreds of proteins in thousands of samples derived from tissue or cell lysates, serum, plasma, or other body fluids. Protein samples are robotically arrayed as microspots on nitrocellulose-coated glass slides. Each slide is probed with a specific antibody that can detect levels of total protein expression or post-translational modifications, such as phosphorylation as a measure of protein activity. Here we describe workflow protocols and software tools that we have developed and optimized for RPPA in a core facility setting that includes sample preparation, microarray mapping and printing of protein samples, antibody labeling, slide scanning, image analysis, data normalization and quality control, data reporting, statistical analysis, and management of data. Our RPPA platform currently analyzes ∼240 validated antibodies that primarily detect proteins in signaling pathways and cellular processes that are important in cancer biology. This is a robust technology that has proven to be of value for both validation and discovery proteomic research and integration with other omics data sets.

Keywords: post-translational; protein array analysis; proteomics; software; validation study.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Protein Array Analysis*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Proteins
  • Proteomics*
  • Quality Control


  • Proteins