Send to

Choose Destination
Oncotarget. 2015 Mar 20;6(8):5695-706.

2D-DIGE proteomic analysis identifies new potential therapeutic targets for adrenocortical carcinoma.

Author information

Endocrinology Unit, Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.
Gastroenterology Unit, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.
Endocrinology Unit, Careggi Hospital, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Careggi, Florence, Italy.
Division of Pathological Anatomy, Department of Surgery and Translational Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.
Istituto Toscano Tumori, Florence, Italy.


Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare aggressive tumor with poor prognosis when metastatic at diagnosis. The tumor biology is still mostly unclear, justifying the limited specificity and efficacy of the anti-cancer drugs currently available. This study reports the first proteomic analysis of ACC by using two-dimensional-differential-in-gel-electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) to evaluate a differential protein expression profile between adrenocortical carcinoma and normal adrenal. Mass spectrometry, associated with 2D-DIGE analysis of carcinomas and normal adrenals, identified 22 proteins in 27 differentially expressed 2D spots, mostly overexpressed in ACC. Gene ontology analysis revealed that most of the proteins concurs towards a metabolic shift, called the Warburg effect, in adrenocortical cancer. The differential expression was validated by Western blot for Aldehyde-dehydrogenase-6-A1,Transferrin, Fascin-1,Lamin A/C,Adenylate-cyclase-associated-protein-1 and Ferredoxin-reductase. Moreover, immunohistochemistry performed on paraffin-embedded ACC and normal adrenal specimens confirmed marked positive staining for all 6 proteins diffusely expressed by neoplastic cells, compared with normal adrenal cortex.In conclusion, our preliminary findings reveal a different proteomic profile in adrenocortical carcinoma compared with normal adrenal cortex characterized by overexpression of mainly metabolic enzymes, thus suggesting the Warburg effect also occurs in ACC. These proteins may represent promising novel ACC biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets if validated in larger cohorts of patients.


biomarkers; cancer metabolism; proteomics

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Impact Journals, LLC Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center