What were the top cited proteins of 2021?


Min Read

In this blog:

  • What were the top cited proteins in 2021?
  • How has COVID-19 impacted the protein market?
  • How has the CiteAb protein dataset grown?

Keen to gain some insights into the research protein market? In this blog we uncover the top cited proteins from 2021, and delve into any interesting changes to the rankings we have noticed.

For reagent suppliers and vendors, understanding what the top cited proteins are year on year can be valuable for pipeline and validation decisions, as well as sales and marketing strategy. We have continued to expand and increase the quality and coverage of our protein data and we now track citations for hundreds of thousands of proteins, giving us confidence in trends we find.

For this analysis we have focused on citation share from 2021 for proteins in the CiteAb database.


Insights on the top cited proteins

Consistent market trends

Generally, the top 10 cited proteins have remained consistent. Proteins in the top 10 include: Albumin, Deoxyribonuclease-1 and Clostripain, as well as growth factors like FGF-2 and TGF beta 1, to name a few examples. We also reported on the top 100 protein products used in 2020 recently.

The impact of COVID-19

Interestingly, we noticed a new entrant to the rankings in 2020. As you may expect, this was the Spike glycoprotein from SARS-CoV-2 (UniProtID P0DTC2). It entered the dataset at 12th position, with a 0.73% citation share. In 2021, it moved up to 4th position as more research was published following the pandemic. 

CiteAb now lists 48 companies that supply Spike glycoprotein products. We have over one thousand spike protein reagents in our protein search, and have collected hundreds of citations for spike glycoprotein products.

The top suppliers of SARS-CoV-2 related proteins are Sino Biological, GenScript and RayBiotech. It is striking that these suppliers are not the top cited suppliers in the overall protein market. (For a more comprehensive look at which suppliers are the most cited overall, you can read our latest analysis on the market in this protein supplier blog.)

When analysing overall citation share from the past five years, Sino Biological ranked 8th, GenScript 23rd and RayBiotech 33rd. Their success in SARS-CoV-2 products goes to demonstrate the adaptability of these suppliers, who have succeeded with these products in order to meet rising demand. Of note, Sino Biological had an interest in other coronavirus research prior to the pandemic, putting them in a prime position to rise to the challenge efficiently.

Top three coronavirus research reagent suppliers' % citation share

We will be interested to see how the pandemic continues to affect the top cited proteins; particularly whether the spike glycoprotein will maintain a top spot throughout 2022. 

Let us know which other research areas are of interest

We are keen to look into the top cited proteins in specific research areas to help us determine which suppliers are thriving in certain markets, and to elucidate trends in various areas of focus (for example, we recently looked at the top suppliers and products in cancer research). As we’ve seen with COVID related products, top suppliers in individual research areas can differ from the overall top suppliers. Is there a certain research area you would like us to focus on in a future blog, or that you would like to receive market data on? Do let us know!

  • Rebecca and the CiteAb team

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