The differentiation potential of pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs) can be manipulated via serum and medium conditions for direct cellular development or to maintain a naïve ground state. The self-renewal state of ESCs can thus be induced by adding inhibitors of mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) and glycogen synthase kinase-3 (Gsk3), known as 2 inhibitors (2i) treatment. We have used a shotgun proteomics approach to investigate differences in protein expressions between 2i- and serum-grown mESCs. The results indicated that 164 proteins were significantly upregulated and 107 proteins downregulated in 2i-grown cells compared to serum. Protein pathways in 2i-grown cells with the highest enrichment were associated with glycolysis and gluconeogenesis. Protein pathways related to organ development were downregulated in 2i-grown cells. In serum-grown ESCs, protein pathways involved in integrin and focal adhesion, and signaling proteins involved in the actin cytoskeleton regulation were enriched. We observed a number of nuclear proteins which were mostly involved in self-renewal maintenance and were expressed at higher levels in 2i compared to serum - Dnmt1, Map2k1, Parp1, Xpo4, Eif3g, Smarca4/Brg1 and Smarcc1/Baf155. Collectively, the results provided an insight into the key protein pathways used by ESCs in the ground state or metastable conditions through 2i or serum culture medium, respectively.