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J Proteome Res. 2009 Jan;8(1):362-73. doi: 10.1021/pr800622b.

Biomarker discovery in low-grade breast cancer using isobaric stable isotope tags and two-dimensional liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (iTRAQ-2DLC-MS/MS) based quantitative proteomic analysis.

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Department of Oncological and Experimental Pathology, Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute, Zluty kopec 7, 65653 Brno, Czech Republic.


The present pilot study constitutes a proof-of-principle in the use of a quantitative LC-MS/MS based proteomic method for the comparative analysis of representative low-grade breast primary tumor tissues with and without metastases and metastasis in lymph node relative to the nonmetastatic tumor type. The study method incorporated iTRAQ stable isotope labeling, two-dimensional liquid chromatography, nanoelectrospray ionization and high resolution tandem mass spectrometry using the hybrid QqTOF platform (iTRAQ-2DLC-MS/MS). The principal aims of this study were (1) to define the protein spectrum obtainable using this approach, and (2) to highlight potential candidates for verification and validation studies focused on biomarkers involved in metastatic processes in breast cancer. The study resulted in the reproducible identification of 605 nonredundant proteins (p < or = 0.05). A quantitative comparison revealed 3/3 proteins with significantly increased/decreased level in metastatic primary tumor and 13/6 proteins with increased/decreased level in lymph node metastasis compared to nonmetastatic primary tumor (p < 0.01). Changes in selected differentially expressed proteins were verified with qRT-PCR. Although our pilot scale study does not warrant general biological conclusions, the synergic regulation of some proteins with related function (e.g., heme binding proteins, proteins of energetic metabolism, interferon induced proteins, proteins with adhesive function) determined in our sample set reflects the ability of our method in providing biologically meaningful data. The main conclusion from this pilot study was that our quantitative proteomic method constitutes a novel way of analyzing cancerous breast tissue biopsy samples that can be extended as part of a larger scale biomarker discovery program.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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