The Human Protein Atlas project

The Human Protein Atlas is a Swedish-based program initiated in 2003 with the aim to map all the human proteins in cells, tissues and organs using integration of various omics technologies, including antibody-based imaging, transcriptomics, mass spectrometry-based proteomics and systems biology. All the data in the knowledge resource is open access to allow scientists both in academia and industry, as well as the general population, to freely access the data for exploration of the human proteome (www.proteinatlas.org). The database constitutes an important starting point for identification of tissue and cell type-specific expression patterns, and analysis for candidate proteins that may have implications for human biology in health and disease.

The Human Protein Atlas consists of six separate parts, each focusing on a particular aspect of the genome-wide analysis of the human proteins:

  • Tissue Atlas - distribution of the majority of the human proteins, across all major tissues and organs in the human body.
     
  • Cell Atlas - subcellular location of proteins in single cells.
     
  • Pathology Atlas - impact of protein levels on survival of cancer patients, across all major cancer types.
     
  • Brain Atlas - protein expression in the mammalian brain by integration of data from three mammalian species (human, pig and mouse).
     
  • Blood Atlas - expression level of proteins in the different cell types of human blood, as well as distribution of the proteins that are secreted from different cell types around the body.
     
  • Metabolic Atlas - A combination of the metabolic pathway data from metabolicatlas.org and organ mRNA expression levels of genes associated with metabolism. 

The Human Protein Atlas project involves the joint efforts of several Swedish universities, including the Royal Institute of Technology, Uppsala University, Uppsala Akademiska University Hospital, Karolinska Institute and Chalmers University, as well as the national infrastructure SciLifeLab.

The Uppsala group, situated at the Rudbeck Laboratory and part of the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University, is in charge of generating antibody-based protein data for the Tissue Atlas and the Pathology Atlas.

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