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J Proteome Res. 2009 Mar;8(3):1565-76. doi: 10.1021/pr800904z.

Stable isotope dilution multidimensional liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry for pancreatic cancer serum biomarker discovery.

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Centers for Cancer Pharmacology and Excellence in Environmental Toxicology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


A novel approach to pancreatic cancer biomarker discovery has been developed, which employs a stable isotope labeled proteome (SILAP) standard coupled with extensive multidimensional separation coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Secreted proteins from CAPAN-2 human pancreatic cancer derived cells were collected after conducting stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC). The resulting SILAP standard contained <0.5% of individual unlabeled proteins. Pooled sera from patients with early stage pancreatic cancer or controls were prepared, and an equal amount of the SILAP standard was added to each sample. Proteins were separated by isoelectric focusing (IEF) prior to two-dimensional liquid chromatography (2D-LC)-MS/MS analysis. A total of 1065 proteins were identified of which 121 proteins were present at 1.5-fold or greater concentrations in the sera of patients with pancreatic cancer. ELISA validation of these findings was successfully performed for two proteins, ICAM-1 and BCAM. Results of these studies have provided proof of principle that a SILAP standard derived from the CAPAN-2 secreted proteome can be used in combination with extensive multidimensional LC-MS/MS for the identification and relative quantitation of potential biomarkers of pancreatic cancer. This technique allows for the detection of low-abundance proteins, and focuses only on biologically relevant proteins derived from pancreatic cancer cells.

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