Oncoproteomics of hepatocellular carcinoma: from cancer markers' discovery to functional pathways

Authors

  • Stella Sun,

    1. Department of Surgery, LKS Faculty of Medicine, Jockey Club Clinical Research Center, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
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    • *Equal contribution.

  • Nikki P. Y. Lee,

    1. Department of Surgery, LKS Faculty of Medicine, Jockey Club Clinical Research Center, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
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    • *Equal contribution.

  • Ronnie T. P. Poon,

    1. Department of Surgery, LKS Faculty of Medicine, Jockey Club Clinical Research Center, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
    2. Center for Cancer Research, LKS Faculty of Medicine, Jockey Club Clinical Research Center, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
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  • Sheung-Tat Fan,

    1. Department of Surgery, LKS Faculty of Medicine, Jockey Club Clinical Research Center, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
    2. Center for Cancer Research, LKS Faculty of Medicine, Jockey Club Clinical Research Center, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
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  • Qing Y. He,

    1. Institute of Life and Health Engineering, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China
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  • George K. Lau,

    1. Department of Medicine, LKS Faculty of Medicine, Jockey Club Clinical Research Center, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
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  • John M. Luk

    1. Department of Surgery, LKS Faculty of Medicine, Jockey Club Clinical Research Center, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
    2. Center for Cancer Research, LKS Faculty of Medicine, Jockey Club Clinical Research Center, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
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Correspondence
Dr John M. Luk, Department of Surgery, The University of Hong Kong, L9-52, LKS Faculty of Medicine Building, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2819 9628
Fax: +852 2819 9636
e-mail: jmluk@hkucc.hku.hk

Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a heterogeneous cancer with no promising treatment and remains one of the most prevailing and lethal malignancies in the world. Researchers in many biological areas now routinely identify and characterize protein markers by a mass spectrometry-based proteomic approach, a method that has been commonly used to discover diagnostic biomarkers for cancer detection. The proteomic research platforms span from the classical two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2-DE) to the latest Protein Chip or array technology, which are often integrated with the MALDI (matrix-assisted laser-desorption ionization), SELDI (surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization) or tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). New advances on quantitative proteomic analysis (e.g. SILAC, ICAT, and ITRAQ) and multidimensional protein identification technology (MudPIT) have greatly enhanced the capability of proteomic methods to study the expressions, modifications and functions of protein markers. The present article reviews the latest proteomic development and discovery of biomarkers in HCC that may provide insights into the underlying mechanisms of hepatocarcinogenesis and the readiness of biomarkers for clinical uses.

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