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PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e32423. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032423. Epub 2012 Mar 9.

Regular patterns for proteome-wide distribution of protein abundance across species.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Proteomics, Beijing Proteome Research Center, Beijing Institute of Radiation Medicine, Beijing, China.


A proteome of the bio-entity, including cell, tissue, organ, and organism, consists of proteins of diverse abundance. The principle that determines the abundance of different proteins in a proteome is of fundamental significance for an understanding of the building blocks of the bio-entity. Here, we report three regular patterns in the proteome-wide distribution of protein abundance across species such as human, mouse, fly, worm, yeast, and bacteria: in most cases, protein abundance is positively correlated with the protein's origination time or sequence conservation during evolution; it is negatively correlated with the protein's domain number and positively correlated with domain coverage in protein structure, and the correlations became stronger during the course of evolution; protein abundance can be further stratified by the function of the protein, whereby proteins that act on material conversion and transportation (mass category) are more abundant than those that act on information modulation (information category). Thus, protein abundance is intrinsically related to the protein's inherent characters of evolution, structure, and function.

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