Plasma membrane proteomics identifies bone marrow stromal antigen 2 as a potential therapeutic target in endometrial cancer



This report utilizes a novel proteomic method for discovering potential therapeutic targets in endometrial cancer. We used a biotinylation-based approach for cell-surface protein enrichment combined with isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) technology using nano liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry analysis to identify specifically overexpressed proteins in endometrial cancer cells compared with normal endometrial cells. We identified a total of 272 proteins, including 11 plasma membrane proteins, whose expression increased more than twofold in at least four of seven endometrial cancer cell lines compared with a normal endometrial cell line. Overexpression of bone marrow stromal antigen 2 (BST2) was detected and the observation was supported by immunohistochemical analysis using clinical samples. The expression of BST2 was more characteristic of 118 endometrial cancer tissues compared with 59 normal endometrial tissues (p < 0.0001). The therapeutic effect of an anti-BST2 antibody was studied both in vitro and in vivo. An anti-BST2 monoclonal antibody showed in vitro cytotoxicity in BST2-positive endometrial cancer cells via antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity and complement-dependent cytotoxicity. In an in vivo xenograft model, anti-BST2 antibody treatment significantly inhibited tumor growth of BST2-positive endometrial cancer cells in an NK cell-dependent manner. The anti-BST2 antibody had a potent antitumor effect against endometrial cancer both in vitro and in vivo, indicating a strong potential for clinical use of anti-BST2 antibody for endometrial cancer treatment. The combination of biotinylation-based enrichment of cell-surface proteins and iTRAQ analysis should be a useful screening method for future discovery of potential therapeutic targets.