Proteomic search for potential diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets for ovarian clear cell adenocarcinoma



Clear cell adenocarcinoma (CCA) has a highly malignant potential in human epithelial ovarian cancer. The serum CA-125 is widely used as a marker for ovarian cancer, but the level is relatively low in CCA. Therefore, new sensitive biomarkers are required. In this report, we describe a promising proteomic analysis that is differentially expressed in CCA when compared to mucinous adenocarcinoma, using the ovarian cultured cell lines OVISE, OVTOKO, and MCAS. The disease-associated proteins were identified by 2-D differential gel electrophoresis (2-D DIGE) and MS. In this analysis, 18 up-regulated and 31 down-regulated spots were observed that had at least two-fold differences in the two CCA cell lines than in MCAS as control cells. Some of the proteins differentially expressed in CCA were previously observed as alternative expression levels in ovarian and/or other cancers in clinical samples. In a subsequent preliminary differential study using surgical specimens from patients with CCA, it was demonstrated that the identified proteins were expressed differentially in actual tissues, as well as in the CCA culture cells. The results from this investigation show the potentiality of a proteomic approach for identifying disease-associated proteins, which may eventually serve as diagnostic markers or therapeutic targets in CCA.