Patterns of newly synthesized proteins of Vero cells in different growth states were obtained using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. The 240 most prevalent peptide spots were then compared. Cells in exponential growth and in the stationary phase were found to have patterns of peptide spots characteristic of their state of growth. The transition between these patterns is progressive, and the cells acquire a pattern characteristic of quiescent cells by the late exponential phase. These observations suggest that a series of modulations in gene expression occurs during the transition of growth states in animal cells that leads to the specific appearance or disappearance of certain cellular peptides.