Early diagnosis of colorectal cancer (CRC) can be of value for increasing the survival rate of patients. Recently, proteomic strategies to identify markers for the diagnosis of cancer at an early stage have been employed with noteworthy results. To extend these studies, we utilized two dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry for expression profiling of proteins extracted from the freshly frozen human colorectal cancer tissue specimens and the comparable regions of adjacent normal mucosa (serving as controls). Four gel spots were determined to be differentially stained between the tumor and the control samples on a consistent basis. Following mass spectrometric analysis of these spots, six proteins were identified; five of these had previously been reported to be associated with colorectal cancer. One protein actin beta-like 2 (ACTBL2), not linked with colorectal cancer in the earlier reports, was however found to be at higher abundance in colorectal tumor samples both by proteomics and immunohistochemistry analysis. Thus ACTBL2 association and differential upregulation in colorectal cancer is novel, and as such may contribute to our understanding of the colorectal carcinogenesis and potentially serve a function in developing markers for colorectal cancer. Biological significance Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a major cause of death world-wide and good markers for early detection are lacking. In this study we conducted a proteomic analysis of tumor vs. normal tissue. We corroborated the finding of a number of previously identified proteins associated with CRC and more importantly identified a novel protein, ACTBL2, which we demonstrated to be upregulated in CRC. As additional proteins associated with CRC are identified the potential for developing panels of markers may be realized with better outcomes in early cancer detection.
- Colorectal cancer
- Mass spectrometric analysis
- Protein biomarkers
- Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis