Specific interactions of extracellular matrix proteins with cells and their adhesion to the substrate are important for cell growth. A nanopatterned latex-coated paper substrate previously shown to be an excellent substrate for cell adhesion and 2D growth was studied for directed immobilization of proteins. The nanostructured latex surface was formed by short-wavelength IR irradiation of a two-component latex coating consisting of a hydrophilic film-forming styrene butadiene acrylonitrile copolymer and hydrophobic polystyrene particles. The hydrophobic regions of the IR-treated latex coating showed strong adhesion of bovine serum albumin (cell repelling protein), fibronectin (cell adhesive protein) and streptavidin. Opposite to the IR-treated surface, fibronectin and streptavidin had a poor affinity toward the untreated pristine latex coating. Detailed characterization of the physicochemical surface properties of the latex-coated substrates revealed that the observed differences in protein affinity were mainly due to the presence or absence of the protein repelling polar and charged surface groups. The protein adsorption was assisted by hydrophobic (dehydration) interactions.