Question: protein concentration in a cell

Sat Jan 14 23:13:29 EST 1995

In article <ehom1-1301951513250001 at>,
Erik Forbes Y. Hom <ehom1 at> wrote:
>Hi netters.  Can anyone be of help by telling me where/how I might be able
>to find/calculate a "typical" concentration (mg/ml or something of the
>like) of a housekeeping protein like tubulin in a "typical" mammalian
>cell.  I need a ball park figure.  As far as I know, about 16-20% of a
>cell's weight is protein (but what's the typical weight of a "typical"
>mammalian cell?), volume is readily estimated from cell diameter, and a
>highly expressed protein could be about 1% of the total protein in a cell
>(so for, say tubulin, about 0.1-0.2% of the cell is protein by weight
>(?)).  Any suggestions, info???? Please email.

Tubulin is in the ballpark of 20 micromolar (app. 2 mg/ml) in a generic 
cell.  Actin can be much higher in a motile cell such as a fibroblast, 
and I seem to remember somebody mention a very high concentration of 
profilin (approaching millimolar, but don't quote me).  If you need a 
ref. for the tubulin figure, see Hiller and Weber, 1978, Cell 14:795-804.

Of course, hemoglobin in a mature erythrocyte is around 100-200 mg/ml.
Hope this helps.


			Nick Theodorakis
			ntheo at
			Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore, MD

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