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Clin Proteomics. 2017 Mar 24;14:9. doi: 10.1186/s12014-017-9143-3. eCollection 2017.

OLFM4, KNG1 and Sec24C identified by proteomics and immunohistochemistry as potential markers of early colorectal cancer stages.

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Gastroenterology Department, GIGA-R, Liège University Hospital CHU, ULg, GIGA CHU-B34 Avenue de l'Hôpital 11, 4000 Liège, Belgium.
Laboratory of Mass Spectrometry, Chemistry Department, GIGA-R, CART, ULg, 4000 Liège, Belgium.
Department of Anatomy and Pathology, GIGA-R, Liège University Hospital CHU, ULg, 4000 Liège, Belgium.
GIGA Proteomic Facility, ULg, 4000 Liège, Belgium.
Mammalian Cell Culture Laboratory, Department of Preclinical and Biomedical Sciences, GIGA-R, ULg, 4000 Liège, Belgium.
Department of Clinical Sciences, Rheumatology, Liège University Hospital CHU, 4000 Liège, Belgium.
Abdominal Surgery Department, University Hospital CHU, 4000 Liège, Belgium.
Contributed equally



Despite recent advances in colorectal cancer (CRC) diagnosis and population screening programs, the identification of patients with preneoplastic lesions or with early CRC stages remains challenging and is important for reducing CRC incidence and increasing patient's survival.


We analysed 76 colorectal tissue samples originated from early CRC stages, normal or inflamed mucosa by label-free proteomics. The characterisation of three selected biomarker candidates was performed by immunohistochemistry on an independent set of precancerous and cancerous lesions harbouring increasing CRC stages.


Out of 5258 proteins identified, we obtained 561 proteins with a significant differential distribution among groups of patients and controls. KNG1, OLFM4 and Sec24C distributions were validated in tissues and showed different expression levels especially in the two early CRC stages compared to normal and preneoplastic tissues.


We highlighted three proteins that require further investigations to better characterise their role in early CRC carcinogenesis and their potential as early CRC markers.

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