Article open access publication

The human secretome

Science Signaling, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), ISSN 1937-9145

Volume 12, 609, 2019

DOI:10.1126/scisignal.aaz0274, Dimensions: pub.1122914503, PMID: 31772123,



  1. (1) Karolinska Institute, grid.4714.6
  2. (2) Royal Institute of Technology, grid.5037.1
  3. (3) Technical University of Denmark, grid.5170.3, DTU
  4. (4) Stanford University, grid.168010.e
  5. (5) Uppsala University, grid.8993.b
  6. (6) Chalmers University of Technology, grid.5371.0
  7. (7) Sahlgrenska University Hospital, grid.1649.a
  8. (8) University of Gothenburg, grid.8761.8


The proteins secreted by human cells (collectively referred to as the secretome) are important not only for the basic understanding of human biology but also for the identification of potential targets for future diagnostics and therapies. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of proteins predicted to be secreted in human cells, which provides information about their final localization in the human body, including the proteins actively secreted to peripheral blood. The analysis suggests that a large number of the proteins of the secretome are not secreted out of the cell, but instead are retained intracellularly, whereas another large group of proteins were identified that are predicted to be retained locally at the tissue of expression and not secreted into the blood. Proteins detected in the human blood by mass spectrometry-based proteomics and antibody-based immunoassays are also presented with estimates of their concentrations in the blood. The results are presented in an updated version 19 of the Human Protein Atlas in which each gene encoding a secretome protein is annotated to provide an open-access knowledge resource of the human secretome, including body-wide expression data, spatial localization data down to the single-cell and subcellular levels, and data about the presence of proteins that are detectable in the blood.


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