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Previous results have shown that some proteins secreted in the culture medium are involved with the formation of embryogenic cells and can modify somatic embryo differentiation. Undifferentiated cell suspensions grown in the presence of 13 μM 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and obtained from embryogenic and non-embryogenic callus were used to study these events in sugarcane plants (cv.PR-62258). The cell suspension growth curves were determined and soluble proteins were extracted from embryogenic and non-embryogenic callus and culture medium from cell suspensions. In embryogenic callus we detected 1.43 times more protein than in non-embryogenic callus and the electrophoretic protein patterns show specific polypeptides for both callus types. In embryogenic callus we detected a cluster of four polypeptides in the range of 38-44 kDa and another polypeptide of 23 kDa that were not observed in non-embryogenic callus. In nonembryogenic callus there is a 35-kDa polypeptide that was not detected in embryogenic callus. In the case of extracellular proteins, the medium from embryogenic cell suspensions contained four polypeptides of 41, 38, 34 and 28 kDa that were slightly detected in the medium from non-embryogenic cell cultures; we also detected a band at 15 kDa that could not be observed in the medium from non-embryogenic cell suspensions. These results suggest that the development of embryogenic callus and cell suspensions is related to the type and amount of intracellular proteins in the callus cells and to the secreted proteins from these cells into the medium.