Identification and analysis of signaling networks potentially involved in breast carcinoma metastasis to the brain.

Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, United States of America.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 07/2011; 6(7):e21977. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021977
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Brain is a common site of breast cancer metastasis associated with significant neurologic morbidity, decreased quality of life, and greatly shortened survival. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms underpinning brain colonization by breast carcinoma cells are poorly understood. Here, we used 2D-DIGE (Difference in Gel Electrophoresis) proteomic analysis followed by LC-tandem mass spectrometry to identify the proteins differentially expressed in brain-targeting breast carcinoma cells (MB231-Br) compared with parental MDA-MB-231 cell line. Between the two cell lines, we identified 12 proteins consistently exhibiting greater than 2-fold (p<0.05) difference in expression, which were associated by the Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) with two major signaling networks involving TNFα/TGFβ-, NFκB-, HSP-70-, TP53-, and IFNγ-associated pathways. Remarkably, highly related networks were revealed by the IPA analysis of a list of 19 brain-metastasis-associated proteins identified recently by the group of Dr. A. Sierra using MDA-MB-435-based experimental system (Martin et al., J Proteome Res 2008 7:908-20), or a 17-gene classifier associated with breast cancer brain relapse reported by the group of Dr. J. Massague based on a microarray analysis of clinically annotated breast tumors from 368 patients (Bos et al., Nature 2009 459: 1005-9). These findings, showing that different experimental systems and approaches (2D-DIGE proteomics used on brain targeting cell lines or gene expression analysis of patient samples with documented brain relapse) yield highly related signaling networks, suggest strongly that these signaling networks could be essential for a successful colonization of the brain by metastatic breast carcinoma cells.

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