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J Proteome Res. 2011 Nov 4;10(11):5070-83. doi: 10.1021/pr2005204. Epub 2011 Oct 5.

Subcellular tissue proteomics of hepatocellular carcinoma for molecular signature discovery.

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Department of Research, Carolinas HealthCare System , Charlotte, NC, USA.


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of mortality from solid organ malignancy worldwide. Because of the complexity of proteins within liver cells and tissues, the discovery of therapeutic targets of HCC has been difficult. To investigate strategies for decreasing the complexity of tissue samples for detecting meaningful protein mediators of HCC, we employed subcellular fractionation combined with 1D-gel electrophoresis and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis. Moreover, we utilized a statistical method, namely, the Power Law Global Error Model (PLGEM), to distinguish differentially expressed proteins in a duplicate proteomic data set. Mass spectrometric analysis identified 3045 proteins in nontumor and HCC from cytosolic, membrane, nuclear, and cytoskeletal fractions. The final lists of highly differentiated proteins from the targeted fractions were searched for potentially translocated proteins in HCC from soluble compartments to the nuclear or cytoskeletal compartments. This analysis refined our targets of interest to include 21 potential targets of HCC from these fractions. Furthermore, we validated the potential molecular targets of HCC, MATR3, LETM1, ILF2, and IQGAP2 by Western blotting, immunohistochemisty, and immunofluorescent microscopy. Here we demonstrate an efficient strategy of subcellular tissue proteomics toward molecular target discovery of one of the most complicated human disease, HCC.

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