Human Protein Atlas

The Human Protein Atlas was initiated in 2003 with the aim of mapping all human proteins within cells, tissues, and organs and providing this information in an open-access format to advance understanding of human biology and disease. Divided into three sub-atlases – the Tissue Atlas, Cell Atlas, and Pathology Atlas – the program relies on sensitive and highly specific antibodies to provide an accurate estimation of protein expression. All antibodies used by the Human Protein Atlas undergo a rigorous validation process which includes Western blot analysis, immunohistochemical staining, and immunofluorescence evaluation against carefully selected sample materials. Our Prestige Antibodies®, which we have made commercially available through our partnership with Atlas Antibodies, are supported by the data of the Human Protein Atlas and represent the most highly-characterized primary antibodies on the market.

The Three Sub-atlases of the Human Protein Atlas

The Tissue Atlas

Review high quality staining of your target tissue to select rigorously validated antibodies

The Tissue Atlas contains information regarding the expression profiles of human genes within different tissues at both the protein and mRNA level. The protein expression data relies on immunohistochemical analysis of 76 different cell types, corresponding to 44 normal human tissue types, while the mRNA expression data is derived from deep sequencing of RNA (RNA-seq) from 37 normal tissue types. This information can easily be explored by searching for a specific gene. For example, the PAX8 protein is expressed in tissues which include thyroid and kidney, and enriched expression is observed in these same tissues at the mRNA level.

In addition to searching the Tissue Atlas for a specific gene, it is also possible to look up a particular human tissue. This can provide valuable information such as which genes demonstrate elevated protein expression in that tissue, and whether this expression is limited to a specific region. For example, 130 genes show elevated expression in breast tissue as compared to other tissues, and an in-depth analysis of these genes using antibody-based profiling illustrates several of the encoded proteins to be highly expressed in mammary glands of lactating breast.

The Cell Atlas

Explore staining at a cellular level to identify antibodies relevant to your cellular target

The Cell Atlas provides information about the spatial distribution of proteins within a panel of 64 cell lines, selected to represent various cell populations in different organs of the human body. The protein expression data is generated by immunofluorescence microscopy, while the mRNA expression data is derived from deep sequencing of RNA. A subset of these cell lines is subjected to a deeper investigation, within which subcellular protein distribution is classified into 33 different organelles and fine cellular structures. This information can be explored by searching for a specific gene. For example, immunocytochemical analysis shows the PAX8 protein to be localized to the nucleoplasm while the mRNA expression data, which is analyzed fully once the cell lines have been sorted after their organ of phenotypic resemblance, shows enriched expression in tissues including kidney and breast.

In addition to searching the Cell Atlas for a specific gene, it is also possible to study different cell lines and cellular organelles in greater detail. The Human Protein Atlas has collated this information into various datasets, including the following:

  • Cell line transcriptome – analysis of the transcriptome of 64 different cell lines reveals genes with elevated expression in specific cell lines, and those genes expressed in cell lines but not in the corresponding normal tissue
  • Organelle proteome – comprehensive information regarding subcellular protein localization
  • Multilocalizing proteome – identification of proteins which are located to more than one organelle
  • Cell cycle-dependent proteome - analysis reveals those proteins showing cell-to-cell variation in their expression patterns even when those cells are genetically identical and derived from the same clonal population

The Pathology Atlas

Understand how protein expression differs between normal and cancer tissues

The Pathology Atlas contains protein expression and mRNA data for the most common forms of human cancer. The Human Protein Atlas has correlated mRNA expression levels of human genes in cancer tissue with the clinical outcome for approximately 8000 corresponding cancer patients and, for many of these genes, immunohistochemical analysis of the equivalent proteins has been performed. The Pathology Atlas enables researchers to study protein expression levels for individual tumors of each cancer type. For example, PAX8 staining is elevated in thyroid, ovarian and endometrial cancer tissues.

Prestige Antibodies®, powered by Atlas Antibodies


Our Prestige Antibodies®, powered by Atlas Antibodies, are supported by the data of the Human Protein Atlas and represent the most highly characterized primary antibodies on the market. With over 40,000 Prestige Antibodies® within our portfolio, it is highly likely that we have the product you require to ensure successful immunostaining.

Immunohistochemical, immunocytochemical and Western blot validation data can be found on our individual product pages, along with links to the relevant section of the Human Protein Atlas website.

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