In order to observe cellular changes caused by mutation of the tumor suppressors, APC and p53, we have generated protein expression profiles of mouse colon epithelial cells using two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE). Crypts, polyps and stroma were isolated from normal, multiple intestinal neoplasia (MIN) and p53-null mice, each with a C57Black/6J background, and subjected to 2-DE in two separate pH ranges (pH 3-10 and pH 6-11). No significant differences in protein expression patterns were observed between the normal, MIN and p53-null colon epithelial crypts. However, 64 proteins from the MIN polyps showed a 2-fold or greater difference in intensity that was statistically significant as assessed by the Wilcoxon rank-sum test (p < or = 0.05). Of these, calreticulin, carbonic anhydrase I and a new member of the glutathione-S-transferase theta family of proteins have so far been identified using an in-gel digestion protocol coupled with reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) ion-trap mass spectrometry. In addition, 38 marker proteins have been identified in a continuing effort to generate a comprehensive 2-DE database of proteins expressed by mouse colon epithelial cells (these databases are available at http://www.ludwig.edu.au/jpsl/jpslhome. html).