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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2015 Jan 1;308(1):H18-28. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00672.2014. Epub 2014 Nov 7.

Distribution volumes of macromolecules in human ovarian and endometrial cancers--effects of extracellular matrix structure.

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Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway;
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway; and.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway; and Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.
Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway;


Elements of the extracellular matrix (ECM), notably collagen and glucosaminoglycans, will restrict part of the space available for soluble macromolecules simply because the molecules cannot occupy the same space. This phenomenon may influence macromolecular drug uptake. To study the influence of steric and charge effects of the ECM on the distribution volumes of macromolecules in human healthy and malignant gynecologic tissues we used as probes 15 abundant plasma proteins quantified by high-resolution mass spectrometry. The available distribution volume (VA) of albumin was increased in ovarian carcinoma compared with healthy ovarian tissue. Furthermore, VA of plasma proteins between 40 and 190 kDa decreased with size for endometrial carcinoma and healthy ovarian tissue, but was independent of molecular weight for the ovarian carcinomas. An effect of charge on distribution volume was only found in healthy ovaries, which had lower hydration and high collagen content, indicating that a condensed interstitium increases the influence of negative charges. A number of earlier suggested biomarker candidates were detected in increased amounts in malignant tissue, e.g., stathmin and spindlin-1, showing that interstitial fluid, even when unfractionated, can be a valuable source for tissue-specific proteins. We demonstrate that the distribution of abundant plasma proteins in the interstitium can be elucidated by mass spectrometry methods and depends markedly on hydration and ECM structure. Our data can be used in modeling of drug uptake, and give indications on ECM components to be targeted to increase the uptake of macromolecular substances.


endometrial cancer; extracellular matrix; interstitial fluid; interstitium; microenvironment; ovarian cancer; proteomics

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