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Sci Signal. 2019 Nov 26;12(609). pii: eaaz0274. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.aaz0274.

The human secretome.

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Department of Protein Science, Science for Life Laboratory, KTH-Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
Center for Biosustainability, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark.
Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Protein Science, Science for Life Laboratory, KTH-Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Protein Science, AlbaNova University Center, KTH-Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Genetics, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
Department of Pathology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Region Västra Götaland, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Department of Clinical Physiology, Gothenburg, Sweden.


The proteins secreted by human cells (collectively referred to as the secretome) are important not only for the basic understanding of human biology but also for the identification of potential targets for future diagnostics and therapies. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of proteins predicted to be secreted in human cells, which provides information about their final localization in the human body, including the proteins actively secreted to peripheral blood. The analysis suggests that a large number of the proteins of the secretome are not secreted out of the cell, but instead are retained intracellularly, whereas another large group of proteins were identified that are predicted to be retained locally at the tissue of expression and not secreted into the blood. Proteins detected in the human blood by mass spectrometry-based proteomics and antibody-based immunoassays are also presented with estimates of their concentrations in the blood. The results are presented in an updated version 19 of the Human Protein Atlas in which each gene encoding a secretome protein is annotated to provide an open-access knowledge resource of the human secretome, including body-wide expression data, spatial localization data down to the single-cell and subcellular levels, and data about the presence of proteins that are detectable in the blood.


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