The prostate has three anatomical zones: the peripheral (PZ), the transition (TZ), and the central (CZ) zone. It is proposed that the CZ may be of mesodermal origin, whereas the other two are of endodermal origin. Proteome patterns in the zones were characterized to test for differences. Cells were scraped from macroscopically normal areas of PZ, TZ, and CZ in radical prostatectomy specimens. After exclusion of samples with cancer or prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, 18 cases remained for analysis. Cells were collected in a medium with protease inhibitors, and the protein material was prepared for two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. The proteins in spots that differed quantitatively between regions were identified via mass spectrometric fingerprinting of tryptic fragments and selected tandem mass spectrometry sequence analysis. Ten proteins with significant zonal differential expression were identified, eight with underexpression in the CZ versus the PZ and the TZ (arginase II, ATP synthase, cytokeratin 8, lamin A/C, peroxiredoxin 4, protein disulfide isomerase A3, tropomyosin, and vimentin), and two with overexpression in the CZ (peroxiredoxin 2 and creatine kinase B). The PZ and TZ, although differing in terms of incidence of cancer and hyperplasia, have epithelium with highly similar major protein expression profiles. However, the protein profile of the CZ differs from that of the other regions, suggesting functional differences.