A step further in the analysis of human bile proteome.
ABSTRACT Bile was shown to collect proteins known as potential cancer biomarkers. Thorough proteomic analysis of bile is of particular interest to search for new, more sensitive and more specific, biomarkers of cancers affecting the biliary tract and surrounding organs, such as the pancreas and the liver. Therefore, extending the knowledge of the bile proteome is highly relevant, but this has proved technically difficult. In this study, we describe a strategy that circumvents problems related to the biochemical complexity of this sample and the presence of high concentrations of interfering substances. Bile collected from a patient suffering from a biliary stenosis caused by a pancreatic adenocarcinoma was fractionated by a differential centrifugation scheme, involving a stepwise increase in centrifugation speeds. Pellets and the final supernatant were further fractionated by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and proteins were in-gel digested prior to LC-MS/MS analysis. This approach allowed the identification of 445 unique proteins with at least two peptides (812 proteins if single-hit proteins were included), which represents a 3-fold increase in the knowledge of bile proteome. The subsequent literature comparison revealed that numerous biliary proteins identified in this sample were related to pancreas cancer. Immunoblot analysis of some known tumor markers revealed that they were preferentially associated with the soluble fraction rather than with pellets containing cellular components.