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Mol Cell Proteomics. 2012 Jul;11(7):M111.012914. doi: 10.1074/mcp.M111.012914. Epub 2012 Mar 28.

Proteomic analysis of microvesicles released by the human prostate cancer cell line PC-3.

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Department of Biochemistry, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital- The Norwegian Radium Hospital, 0379 Oslo, Norway.


Cancer biomarkers are invaluable tools for cancer detection, prognosis, and treatment. Recently, microvesicles have appeared as a novel source for cancer biomarkers. We present here the results from a proteomic analysis of microvesicles released to the extracellular environment by the metastatic prostate cancer cell line PC-3. Using nanocapillary liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry 266 proteins were identified with two or more peptide sequences. Further analysis showed that 16% of the proteins were classified as extracellular and that intracellular proteins were annotated in a variety of locations. Concerning biological processes, the proteins found in PC-3 cell-released microvesicles are mainly involved in transport, cell organization and biogenesis, metabolic process, response to stimulus, and regulation of biological processes. Several of the proteins identified (tetraspanins, annexins, Rab proteins, integrins, heat shock proteins, cytoskeletal proteins, 14-3-3 proteins) have previously been found in microvesicles isolated from other sources. However, some of the proteins seem to be more specific to the vesicular population released by the metastatic prostate cancer PC-3 cell line. Among these proteins are the tetraspanin protein CD151 and the glycoprotein CUB domain-containing protein 1. Interestingly, our results show these proteins are promising biomarkers for prostate cancer and therefore candidates for clinical validation studies in biological fluids.

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