Abstract : Background: Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are two common musculoskeletal disorders that affect the joints. Despite high prevalence rates, etiological factors involved in these disorders remain largely unknown. Dissecting the molecular aspects of these disorders will significantly contribute to improving their diagnosis and clinical management. In order to identify proteins that are differentially expressed between these two conditions, a quantitative proteomic profiling of synovial fluid obtained from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis patients was carried out by using iTRAQ labeling followed by high resolution mass spectrometry analysis. Results: We have identified 575 proteins out of which 135 proteins were found to be differentially expressed by ≥3-fold in the synovial fluid of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis patients. Proteins not previously reported to be associated with rheumatoid arthritis including, coronin-1A (CORO1A), fibrinogen like-2 (FGL2), and macrophage capping protein (CAPG) were found to be upregulated in rheumatoid arthritis. Proteins such as CD5 molecule-like protein (CD5L), soluble scavenger receptor cysteine-rich domain-containing protein (SSC5D), and TTK protein kinase (TTK) were found to be upregulated in the synovial fluid of osteoarthritis patients. We confirmed the upregulation of CAPG in rheumatoid arthritis synovial fluid by multiple reaction monitoring assay as well as by Western blot. Pathway analysis of differentially expressed proteins revealed a significant enrichment of genes involved in glycolytic pathway in rheumatoid arthritis. Conclusions: We report here the largest identification of proteins from the synovial fluid of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis patients using a quantitative proteomics approach. The novel proteins identified from our study needs to be explored further for their role in the disease pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Sartaj Ahmad and Raja Sekhar Nirujogi contributed equally to this article. © 2014 Balakrishnan et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.