Defining the transcriptome and proteome in three functionally different human cell lines

Emma Lundberg, Linn Fagerberg, Daniel Klevebring, Ivan Matic, Tamar Geiger, Juergen Cox, Cajsa Älgenäs, Joakim Lundeberg, Matthias Mann, Mathias Uhlen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An essential question in human biology is how cells and tissues differ in gene and protein expression and how these differences delineate specific biological function. Here, we have performed a global analysis of both mRNA and protein levels based on sequence-based transcriptome analysis (RNA-seq), SILAC-based mass spectrometry analysis and antibody-based confocal microscopy. The study was performed in three functionally different human cell lines and based on the global analysis, we estimated the fractions of mRNA and protein that are cell specific or expressed at similar/different levels in the cell lines. A highly ubiquitous RNA expression was found with >60% of the gene products detected in all cells. The changes of mRNA and protein levels in the cell lines using SILAC and RNA ratios show high correlations, even though the genome-wide dynamic range is substantially higher for the proteins as compared with the transcripts. Large general differences in abundance for proteins from various functional classes are observed and, in general, the cell-type specific proteins are low abundant and highly enriched for cell-surface proteins. Thus, this study shows a path to characterize the transcriptome and proteome in human cells from different origins.

Original languageEnglish
Article number450
JournalMolecular Systems Biology
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • cell lines
  • expression
  • human
  • proteome
  • transcriptome


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