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Research Article

Label-Free Quantitative Mass Spectrometry Reveals a Panel of Differentially Expressed Proteins in Colorectal Cancer


To identify potential biomarkers involved in CRC, a shotgun proteomic method was applied to identify soluble proteins in three CRCs and matched normal mucosal tissues using high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Label-free protein profiling of three CRCs and matched normal mucosal tissues were then conducted to quantify and compare proteins. Results showed that 67 of the 784 identified proteins were linked to CRC (28 upregulated and 39 downregulated). Gene Ontology and DAVID databases were searched to identify the location and function of differential proteins that were related to the biological processes of binding, cell structure, signal transduction, cell adhesion, and so on. Among the differentially expressed proteins, tropomyosin-3 (TPM3), endoplasmic reticulum resident protein 29 (ERp29), 18 kDa cationic antimicrobial protein (CAMP), and heat shock 70 kDa protein 8 (HSPA8) were verified to be upregulated in CRC tissue and seven cell lines through western blot analysis. Furthermore, the upregulation of TPM3, ERp29, CAMP, and HSPA8 was validated in 69 CRCs byimmunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis. Combination of TPM3, ERp29, CAMP, and HSPA8 can identify CRC from matched normal mucosal achieving an accuracy of 73.2% using IHC score. These results suggest that TPM3, ERp29, CAMP, and HSPA8 are great potential IHC diagnostic biomarkers for CRC.