The objective of this work was to investigate whether proteomic analysis of thymoma cells treated with the trichothecene deoxynivalenol (DON) as compared to non-treated (control) cells would reveal differential protein expression, and thus would contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms of its toxicity. For that purpose the mouse thymoma cell line EL4 was exposed to 0.5 microM DON for 6 hr. A total of 30 proteins were affected after exposure of EL4 cells to DON. Most of these proteins were up-regulated and included key metabolic enzymes (e.g., fatty acid synthase, aldose reductase, carbamoyl phosphate synthetase, glucose-6-phosphate isomerase), chaperones (e.g., HSP9AB1 and HSP70), enzymes implicated in protein folding (PDI and ERO1-l alpha), and proteins involved in protein degradation (ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (E1) and proteasome subunit alpha type-1). In addition, an IgE-binding protein with a molecular weight of 60 kDa and My-binding protein 1a (MYBBP1A), a transcription factor, were found to be up-regulated by DON. The observed up-regulation of MYBBP1A, a known repressor of a number of transcription factors such as PGC-1 alpha, C-myb, and p65 of the NF-kappaB family, suggests that this protein might play a role in the mechanism of DON toxicity.