The Cell Atlas

The function of proteins in the cell is often connected to their subcellular location and how they interact with other proteins and molecules. Consequently, mislocalization of proteins within the cell is associated with cellular dysfunction and disease. For this reason, it is important to understand the spatial distribution of proteins in the cell.

An open-access map of the human cell

The Cell Atlas, part of the Human Protein Atlas, is an open-access database providing high-resolution insights into the spatial-temporal distribution of proteins within human cells. It an important resource for exploring details of individual genes and proteins of interest, analyzing cells transcriptomes and proteomes in broader contexts, in order to increase our understanding of human cells.

Image from the Cell Atlas for the CCNB1 gene,
Image from the Cell Atlas for the CCNB1 gene, showing gene information and subcellular location annotated to the cytosol.

Explore the Cell Atlas

Start exploring the Cell Atlas section of the Human Protein Atlas.

Go to the Cell Atlas

Subcellular location for over 12,000 proteins

The Human Protein Atlas project launched the Cell Atlas in 2016. This open-source database provides high-resolution insights into the spatial-temporal distribution of proteins in each organelle. Within the Cell Atlas, the subcellular localization of >12,000 proteins is mapped on a single-cell level to 33 organelles, enabling the definition of 13 major organelle proteome.

The data is the results of immunofluorescence and high-resolution confocal microscopy in 64 human cell lines, covering various cell populations in different organs and tissues of the human body.

The research behind creating the atlas offered interesting insights into the classification and function of the proteins inside each organelle. One unexpected finding was that 50% of proteins are found in multiple cellular compartments. More than 80,000 confocal immunofluorescence images help the functional exploration of individual proteins and their role in human biology and disease.

The antibodies used in the Cell Atlas, are manufactured and made available to fellow researchers by Atlas Antibodies as Triple A Polyclonals.

Guide to using the Cell Atlas

Not sure where to start? Follow our guide to discover all the information in the Cell Atlas for your protein of choice. 

How to use the Cell Atlas


Thul et al. A subcellular map of the human proteome. Science. 2017 356(6340) DOI: 10.1126/science.aal3321

Uhlén et al. A human protein atlas for normal and cancer tissues based on antibody proteomics. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2005 4(12):1920-32. DOI: 10.1074/mcp.M500279-MCP200