Mapping three-dimensional intratumor proteomic heterogeneity in uterine serous carcinoma by multiregion microsampling

Allison L. Hunt, Nicholas W. Bateman, Waleed Barakat, Sasha C. Makohon-Moore, Tamara Abulez, Jordan A. Driscoll, Joshua P. Schaaf, Brian L. Hood, Kelly A. Conrads, Ming Zhou, Valerie Calvert, Mariaelena Pierobon, Jeremy Loffredo, Katlin N. Wilson, Tracy J. Litzi, Pang Ning Teng, Julie Oliver, Dave Mitchell, Glenn Gist, Christine RojasBrian Blanton, Kathleen M. Darcy, Uma N.M. Rao, Emanuel F. Petricoin, Neil T. Phippen, G. Larry Maxwell, Thomas P. Conrads*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Although uterine serous carcinoma (USC) represents a small proportion of all uterine cancer cases, patients with this aggressive subtype typically have high rates of chemotherapy resistance and disease recurrence that collectively result in a disproportionately high death rate. The goal of this study was to provide a deeper view of the tumor microenvironment of this poorly characterized uterine cancer variant through multi-region microsampling and quantitative proteomics. Methods: Tumor epithelium, tumor-involved stroma, and whole “bulk” tissue were harvested by laser microdissection (LMD) from spatially resolved levels from nine USC patient tumor specimens and underwent proteomic analysis by mass spectrometry and reverse phase protein arrays, as well as transcriptomic analysis by RNA-sequencing for one patient’s tumor. Results: LMD enriched cell subpopulations demonstrated varying degrees of relatedness, indicating substantial intratumor heterogeneity emphasizing the necessity for enrichment of cellular subpopulations prior to molecular analysis. Known prognostic biomarkers were quantified with stable levels in both LMD enriched tumor and stroma, which were shown to be highly variable in bulk tissue. These USC data were further used in a comparative analysis with a data generated from another serous gynecologic malignancy, high grade serous ovarian carcinoma, and have been added to our publicly available data analysis tool, the Heterogeneity Analysis Portal ( ). Conclusions: Here we identified extensive three-dimensional heterogeneity within the USC tumor microenvironment, with disease-relevant biomarkers present in both the tumor and the stroma. These data underscore the critical need for upfront enrichment of cellular subpopulations from tissue specimens for spatial proteogenomic analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4
JournalClinical Proteomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024


  • Intratumor heterogeneity
  • Laser microdissection
  • Proteogenomics
  • Proteomics
  • Spatial proteomics
  • Tumor microenvironment
  • Uterine serous carcinoma


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