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World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Apr 14;20(14):3804-24. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i14.3804.

Proteomics for discovery of candidate colorectal cancer biomarkers.

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Paula Álvarez-Chaver, Unidad de Proteómica, Servicio de Determinación Estructural, Proteómica y Genómica, Centro de Apoyo Científico y Tecnológico a la Investigación, Universidad de Vigo, Campus As Lagoas-Marcosende, 36310 Vigo (Pontevedra), Spain.


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in Europe and other Western countries, mainly due to the lack of well-validated clinically useful biomarkers with enough sensitivity and specificity to detect this disease at early stages. Although it is well known that the pathogenesis of CRC is a progressive accumulation of mutations in multiple genes, much less is known at the proteome level. Therefore, in the last years many proteomic studies have been conducted to find new candidate protein biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis and as therapeutic targets for this malignancy, as well as to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of colorectal carcinogenesis. An important advantage of the proteomic approaches is the capacity to look for multiple differentially expressed proteins in a single study. This review provides an overview of the recent reports describing the different proteomic tools used for the discovery of new protein markers for CRC such as two-dimensional electrophoresis methods, quantitative mass spectrometry-based techniques or protein microarrays. Additionally, we will also focus on the diverse biological samples used for CRC biomarker discovery such as tissue, serum and faeces, besides cell lines and murine models, discussing their advantages and disadvantages, and summarize the most frequently identified candidate CRC markers.


Biomarkers; Colorectal cancer; Mass spectrometry; Protein identification; Proteins; Proteomics; Serum; Tissue

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