AbstractIn a pilot field study the proteome response of Mytilus sp. was analyzed in relation to the concentration of different trace metal contaminants. Over a period of eight month test organisms have been exposed at a near-shore station in the anthropogenic impacted estuary of the river Elbe and at an off-shore station in the vicinity of the Island of Helgoland in the German Bight (North Sea). The stations differ in their hydrological as well as chemical characteristics. The physiological biomarkers, such as condition index which have been continuously monitored during the experiment clearly indicate the effects of the different environmental conditions. Multiple protein abundance changes were detected utilizing the techniques of two dimensional gel electrophoresis (2dGE) and consequently proteins arising as potential candidates for ecotoxicological monitoring have been identified by MALDI-ToF and ToF/ToF mass spectrometry. Different cytoskeletal proteins, enzymes of energy metabolism, stress proteins and one protein relevant for metal detoxification have been pointed out.