Environmental pollutants, such as metals, are widespread in aquatic environments and can lead to the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS are highly toxic in marine species since they can cause serious reversible and irreversible changes in proteins including ubiquitination and modifications such as carbonylation. This study aimed to confirm the potential of ubiquitination and carbonylation as markers of oxidative stress in the clam Ruditapes decussatus (Veneroida, Veneridae) exposed to cadmium (40 microg/L). After 21 days of exposure clams were dissected into gills and digestive gland. Cytosolic proteins of both tissues were separated by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-D SDS-PAGE) and analysed by immunobloting. Higher ubiquitination and carbonylation levels were in digestive gland of contaminated organisms. These results confirm the potential of ubiquitination and carbonylation as a sensitive and specific marker of oxidative stress in marine bivalves. In this approach, changes in protein structure provide options for affinity selection of sub-proteomes for 2D SDS-PAGE, simplifying the detection of protein biomarkers using proteomic approach.