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Useful Tools in Immunology: The Human Protein Atlas

When I need more information on a protein or antibody, one of the first places I turn to is It’s a remarkable open-access collection of all known proteins in human cells, tissues, and organs. 

When I say remarkable, I mean it. The Human Protein Atlas has amassed detailed information on more than 26,000 antibodies and over 17,000 genes. 

Considering its modest start of 700 antibodies in version 1 published in 2005, the organization has made significant progress in the past 15 years. The database now holds more than 10 million annotated images! Most data is downloadable in CSV, RDF, TAB, or XML formats. Data is only updated once or twice per year, but you can email The Human Protein Atlas to inquire about any unpublished results. 

Thanks to the wonderful folks at the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and their collaborators for keeping this resource updated and publicly available. 

Learn more about each of the Atlases below.

Number of genes and antibodies in The Human Protein Atlas over time. Source: www.proteinatlas.org/about

The Tissue Atlas

Based on RNA sequencing across 76 cell types covering all major parts of the human body, see the expression and localization of proteins across human tissues and organs. Both quantitative and qualitative data for gene expression and antibody-based protein profiles.  

The Cell Atlas

Get high-resolution images showing the spatial distribution of proteins based on mRNA expression profiles of various human cell lines, including multicolor immunofluorescence images. 

The Pathology Atlas

This is a fantastic resource for anyone studying cancer biology and treatment. Access data from 8,000 patients, including more than 400,000 plots from patient survival data, 5 million pathology-based images,  and over 900,000 plots describing how RNA and protein levels impact clinical survival. 

The Brain Atlas

Explore protein expression in humans, mice, and pigs, including data for 10 main brain regions, the pituitary gland, retina, corpus callosum, and spinal cord. View large immunofluorescence images analyzed for 271 mouse genes. 

The Blood Atlas

Access data from 18 blood cell types, including T cells, B cells, monocytes, granulocytes, and dendritic cells. Predicted secreted protein annotations attempt to determine which genes are secreted into the blood and which have more localized functions. 

The Metabolic Atlas

See maps for more than 120 metabolic pathways and subsystems, including mRNA expression of all proteins associated with each pathway across 37 tissue types. 

Questions About The Human Protein Atlas?

Head to their section for tips! We hope this resource is valuable for your research efforts. Let us know if you have any questions for our contract laboratory services team.

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