Springer Nature

Circulating microvesicles and exosomes in small cell lung cancer by quantitative proteomics

Posted on 2022-01-08 - 04:24
Abstract Background Early detection of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) crucially demands highly reliable markers. Growing evidence suggests that extracellular vesicles carry tumor cell-specific cargo suitable as protein markers in cancer. Quantitative proteomic profiling of circulating microvesicles and exosomes can be a high-throughput platform for discovery of novel molecular insights and putative markers. Hence, this study aimed to investigate proteome dynamics of plasma-derived microvesicles and exosomes in newly diagnosed SCLC patients to improve early detection. Methods Plasma-derived microvesicles and exosomes from 24 healthy controls and 24 SCLC patients were isolated from plasma by either high-speed- or ultracentrifugation. Proteins derived from these extracellular vesicles were quantified using label-free mass spectrometry and statistical analysis was carried out aiming at identifying significantly altered protein expressions between SCLC patients and healthy controls. Furthermore, significantly expressed proteins were subjected to functional enrichment analysis to identify biological pathways implicated in SCLC pathogenesis. Results Based on fold change (FC) ≥ 2 or ≤ 0.5 and AUC ≥ 0.70 (p < 0.05), we identified 10 common and 16 and 17 unique proteins for microvesicles and exosomes, respectively. Among these proteins, we found dysregulation of coagulation factor XIII A (Log2 FC =  − 1.1, p = 0.0003, AUC = 0.82, 95% CI: 0.69–0.96) and complement factor H-related protein 4 (Log2 FC = 1.2, p = 0.0005, AUC = 0.82, 95% CI; 0.67–0.97) in SCLC patients compared to healthy individuals. Our data may indicate a novel tumor-suppressing role of blood coagulation and involvement of complement activation in SCLC pathogenesis. Conclusions In comparing SCLC patients and healthy individuals, several differentially expressed proteins were identified. This is the first study showing that circulating extracellular vesicles may encompass specific proteins with potential diagnostic attributes for SCLC, thereby opening new opportunities as novel non-invasive markers.


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Clinical Proteomics


Shona Pedersen
Katrine Papendick Jensen
Bent Honoré
Søren Risom Kristensen
Camilla Holm Pedersen
Weronika Maria Szejniuk
Raluca Georgiana Maltesen
Ursula Falkmer
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