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Electrophoresis. 2007 Dec;28(23):4302-10.

2-D difference gel electrophoresis of the lung squamous cell carcinoma versus normal sera demonstrates consistent alterations in the levels of ten specific proteins.

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The National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland.


Most lung cancers are diagnosed too late for curative treatment to be possible, therefore early detection is crucial. Serum proteins are a rich source of biomarkers and have the potential to be used as diagnostic and prognostic indicators for lung cancer. In order to examine differences in serum levels of specific proteins associated with human lung squamous carcinoma, immunodepletion of albumin and five other high-abundant serum proteins followed by 2-D difference gel electrophoresis (DIGE) analysis and subsequent MS was used to generate a panel of proteins found to be differentially expressed between the cancer and normal samples. Proteins found to have increased abundance levels in squamous cell carcinoma sera compared to normal sera included apolipoprotein A-IV precursor, chain F; human complement component C3c, haptoglobin, serum amyloid A protein precursor and Ras-related protein Rab-7b. Proteins found to have lower abundance levels in squamous cell carcinoma sera compared to normal sera included alpha-2-HS glycoprotein, hemopexin precursor, proapolipoprotein, antithrombin III and SP40; 40. The data presented here demonstrate that high-abundant protein removal combined with 2-D DIGE is a powerful strategy for the discovery of potential biomarkers. The identification of lung cancer-specific biomarkers is crucial to early detection, which in turn could lead to a dramatic increase in survival rates.

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