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Proteomics. 2008 Sep;8(17):3605-20. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200701034.

Identification of potential serum markers for nasopharyngeal carcinoma from a xenografted mouse model using Cy-dye labeling combined with three-dimensional fractionation.

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Proteomics Core Laboratory, Chang Gung University, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan, Republic of China.


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), one of the most common cancers in Southeast Asia, is commonly diagnosed late due to its deep location and vague symptoms. To identify biomarkers for improving NPC diagnosis, we established a proteomic platform for detecting aberrant serum proteins in nude mice bearing NPC xenografts. We first removed the three most abundant proteins from serum samples of tumor-bearing and control mice, and then labeled the samples with different fluorescent cyanine (Cy) dyes. The labeled serum proteins were then mixed equally and fractionated with ion-exchange chromatography followed by SDS-PAGE. Differentially expressed proteins were identified by in-gel tryptic digestion and MALDI-TOF MS. We identified peroxiredoxin 2 (Prx-II) and carbonic anhydrase 2 (CA-II) as being elevated in the xenograft mouse model compared to controls. Western blot analysis confirmed up-regulation of Prx-II and CA-II in plasma from five NPC patients, and ELISA showed that plasma Prx-II levels were significantly higher in NPC patients (n = 84) versus healthy controls (n = 90) (3.03 +/- 4.47 versus 1.90 +/- 2.74 microg/mL, p = 0.047). In conclusion, Cy dye labeling combined with three-dimensional fractionation is a feasible strategy for identifying differentially expressed serum proteins in an NPC xenograft model, and Prx-II may represent a potential NPC biomarker.

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