Cationic liposomes (CLs) are one of the most employed nonviral nanovector systems in gene therapy. However, their transfection efficiency is strongly affected by interactions with plasma components, that lead to the formation of a "protein corona" onto CL surface. The interactions between nanoparticles entering the body and biomolecules have an essential role for their biodistribution. Because the knowledge of proteins adsorbed onto vector surface could be useful in the screening of new, more efficient and more biocompatible liposomal formulations, the behavior of three CLs with different membrane charge densities was investigated. The proteins of the three coronas were identified by nano-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, and quantified with label-free spectral counting strategy. Fibrinogen displayed higher association with CLs with high membrane charge density, while apolipoproteins and C4b-binding protein with CLs with low membrane charge density. These results are discussed in terms of the different lipid compositions of CLs and may have a deep biological impact for in vivo applications. Surface charge of nanoparticles is emerging as a relevant factor determining the corona composition after interaction with plasma proteins. Remarkably, it is also shown that the charge of the protein corona formed around CLs is strongly related to their membrane charge density. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.