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The Human Protein Atlas

Friday 25 November 2011

The analysis of tissue-specific expression at both the gene and protein levels is vital for understanding human biology and disease.

Antibody-based proteomics provides a strategy for the systematic generation of antibodies against all human proteins to combine with protein profiling in tissues and cells using tissue microarrays, immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence.

The Human Protein Atlas project was launched in 2003 with the aim of creating a map of protein expression patterns in normal cells, tissues and cancer.

At present, 11,200 unique proteins corresponding to over 50% of all human protein-encoding genes have been analysed.

All protein expression data, including underlying high-resolution images, are published on the free and publically available Human Protein Atlas portal (

This database provides an important source of information for numerous biomedical research projects, including biomarker discovery efforts.

Moreover, the global analysis of how our genome is expressed at the protein level has provided basic knowledge on the ubiquitous expression of a large proportion of our proteins and revealed the paucity of cell- and tissue-type-specific proteins.


- The Human Protein Atlas (


- A tool to facilitate clinical biomarker studies—a tissue dictionary based on the Human Protein Atlas. Kampf C, Bergman J, Oksvold P, Asplund A, Navani S, Wiking M, Lundberg E, Uhlén M, Ponten F. BMC Med. 2012 Sep 12;10:103. doi : 10.1186/1741-7015-10-103 PMID: 22971420 [Free]

- Production of tissue microarrays, immunohistochemistry staining and digitalization within the human protein atlas. Kampf C, Olsson I, Ryberg U, Sjöstedt E, Pontén F. J Vis Exp. 2012 May 31;(63). doi : pii: 3620. 10.3791/3620 PMID: 22688270 [Free]

- Antibodies for profiling the human proteome-The Human Protein Atlas as a resource for cancer research. Asplund A, Edqvist PH, Schwenk JM, Pontén F. Proteomics. 2012 Jul;12(13):2067-77. doi : 10.1002/pmic.201100504 PMID: 22623277

- Scalable in situ hybridization on tissue arrays for validation of novel cancer and tissue-specific biomarkers. Kiflemariam S, Andersson S, Asplund A, Pontén F, Sjöblom T. PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e32927. doi : 10.1371/journal.pone.0032927 PMID: 22412953 [Free]

- The Human Protein Atlas as a proteomic resource for biomarker discovery. Pontén F, Schwenk JM, Asplund A, Edqvist PH. J Intern Med. 2011 Nov;270(5):428-46. PMID: 21752111

- A global view of protein expression in human cells, tissues, and organs. Pontén F, Gry M, Fagerberg L, Lundberg E, Asplund A, Berglund L, Oksvold P, Björling E, Hober S, Kampf C, Navani S, Nilsson P, Ottosson J, Persson A, Wernérus H, Wester K, Uhlén M. Mol Syst Biol. 2009;5:337. doi : 10.1038/msb.2009.93 PMID: 20029370 [Free]

- A web-based tool for in silico biomarker discovery based on tissue-specific protein profiles in normal and cancer tissues. Björling E, Lindskog C, Oksvold P, Linné J, Kampf C, Hober S, Uhlén M, Pontén F. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2008 May;7(5):825-44. PMID: 17913849 [Free]

- Toward a confocal subcellular atlas of the human proteome. Barbe L, Lundberg E, Oksvold P, Stenius A, Lewin E, Björling E, Asplund A, Pontén F, Brismar H, Uhlén M, Andersson-Svahn H. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2008 Mar;7(3):499-508. PMID: 18029348 [Free]

- A genecentric Human Protein Atlas for expression profiles based on antibodies. Berglund L, Björling E, Oksvold P, Fagerberg L, Asplund A, Szigyarto CA, Persson A, Ottosson J, Wernérus H, Nilsson P, Lundberg E, Sivertsson A, Navani S, Wester K, Kampf C, Hober S, Pontén F, Uhlén M. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2008 Oct;7(10):2019-27. doi : 10.1074/mcp.R800013-MCP200 PMID: 18669619 [Free]

- A human protein atlas for normal and cancer tissues based on antibody proteomics. Uhlén M, Björling E, Agaton C, Szigyarto CA et al. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2005 Dec;4(12):1920-32. PMID: 16127175 [Free]

- Towards a knowledge-based Human Protein Atlas. Uhlen M, Oksvold P, Fagerberg L, Lundberg E, Jonasson K, Forsberg M, Zwahlen M, Kampf C, Wester K, Hober S, Wernerus H, Björling L, Ponten F. Nat Biotechnol. 2010 Dec;28(12):1248-50. doi : 10.1038/nbt1210-1248 PMID:b21139605