Mitochondrial dysfunction is known to be a contributing factor to a number of diseases including chronic alcohol induced liver injury. While there is a detailed understanding of the metabolic pathways and proteins of the liver mitochondrion, little is known regarding how changes in the mitochondrial proteome may contribute to the development of hepatic pathologies. Emerging evidence indicates that reactive oxygen and nitrogen species disrupt mitochondrial function through post-translational modifications to the mitochondrial proteome. Indeed, various new affinity labeling reagents are available to test the hypothesis that post-translational modification of proteins by reactive species contributes to mitochondrial dysfunction and alcoholic fatty liver disease. Specialized proteomic techniques are also now available, which allow for identification of defects in the assembly of multi-protein complexes in mitochondria and the resolution of the highly hydrophobic proteins of the inner membrane. In this review knowledge gained from the study of changes to the mitochondrial proteome in alcoholic hepatotoxicity will be described and placed into a mechanistic framework to increase understanding of the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in liver disease. © 2007 WJG. All rights reserved.