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J Proteome Res. 2008 Apr;7(4):1470-80. doi: 10.1021/pr700792g. Epub 2008 Feb 14.

Targeted glycoproteomic identification of biomarkers for human breast carcinoma.

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Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30605, USA.


Glycosylation is a dynamic post-translational modification that changes during the development and progression of various malignancies. During the oncogenesis of breast carcinoma, the glycosyltransferase known as N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase Va (GnT-Va) transcript levels and activity are increased due to activated oncogenic signaling pathways. Elevated GnT-V levels leads to increased beta(1,6)-branched N-linked glycan structures on glycoproteins that can be measured using a specific carbohydrate binding protein or lectin known as L-PHA. L-PHA does not bind to nondiseased breast epithelial cells, but during the progression to invasive carcinoma, cells show a progressive increase in L-PHA binding. We have developed a procedure for intact protein L-PHA-affinity enrichment, followed by nanospray ionization mass spectrometry (NSI-MS/MS), to identify potential biomarkers for breast carcinoma. We identified L-PHA reactive glycoproteins from matched normal (nondiseased) and malignant tissue isolated from patients with invasive ductal breast carcinoma. Comparison analysis of the data identified 34 proteins that were enriched by L-PHA fractionation in tumor relative to normal tissue for at least 2 cases of ductal invasive breast carcinoma. Of these 34 L-PHA tumor enriched proteins, 12 are common to all 4 matched cases analyzed. These results indicate that lectin enrichment strategies targeting a particular glycan change associated with malignancy can be an effective method of identifying potential biomarkers for breast carcinoma.

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