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Proteomics. 2005 Aug;5(12):3173-82.

Cancer cell-secreted proteomes as a basis for searching potential tumor markers: nasopharyngeal carcinoma as a model.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Chang Gung University, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan, Republic of China.


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is commonly diagnosed late due to its deep location and vague symptoms. To identify biomarkers for early NPC diagnosis, secreted proteomes of two NPC cell lines were analyzed. Proteins in the NPC cell-line cultured media were systematically identified by SDS-PAGE combined with MALDI-TOF MS. Twenty-three proteins were found in cultured media from both NPC cell lines. Among them, fibronectin, Mac-2 binding protein (Mac-2 BP), and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) were further confirmed by Western blot analysis. These three proteins were highly expressed in NPC biopsies, but weakly or not expressed in normal nasopharyngeal tissues. The serum levels of the three proteins were significantly higher in NPC patients (n = 46) than in normal controls (n = 47) (p < 0.01). NPC nude mice model (n = 9) also showed elevated levels of serum Mac-2 BP and PAI-1 compared with tumor-free mice (n = 9) (p < 0.01). Systematic analysis of cancer cell-secreted proteomes combined with animal tumor models can be a feasible, convenient strategy for searching multiple potential tumor markers. Furthermore, our work shows that fibronectin, Mac-2 BP, and PAI-1 may be potential markers for diagnosis of NPC.

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