• Stem cells;
  • Self-renewal;
  • Pluripotent stem cell;
  • Embryonic stem cell biology;
  • Heterogeneity;
  • Proteomics Mass spectrometry;
  • Post-translational modification;
  • Electrophoresis;
  • Quantitative proteomics;
  • Secretomics Two-dimensional electrophoresis


Gene expression analyses of stem cells (SCs) will help to uncover or further define signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms involved in the maintenance of self-renewal, pluripotency, and/or multipotency. In recent years, proteomic approaches have produced a wealth of data identifying proteins and mechanisms involved in SC proliferation and differentiation. Although many proteomics techniques have been developed and improved in peptide and protein separation, as well as mass spectrometry, several important issues, including sample heterogeneity, post-translational modifications, protein-protein interaction, and high-throughput quantification of hydrophobic and low-abundance proteins, still remain to be addressed and require further technical optimization. This review summarizes the methodologies used and the information gathered with proteome analyses of SCs, and it discusses biological and technical challenges for proteomic study of SCs.

Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.