|Discovery of tissue-specific biomarkers for human cancer is crucial for early diagnosis and molecular understanding of the disease. To overcome the limitations posed by the large dynamic concentration range and compositional complexity of tissue biomacromolecules, we developed heparin affinity fractionation for proteomic enrichment. Comparing the proteomes of paired samples of normal lung and pulmonary adenocarcinoma tissue by 2-D difference gel electrophoresis, 14 spots were found to be differentially expressed. From these candidate spots, three proteins overexpressed in cancer were identified by tandem mass spectrometry as transgelin (TAGLN, SM22-alpha, WS3-10), transgelin-2 (TAGLN2), and cyclophilin A (PPIA). Quantitative RT-PCR indicated that both TAGLN2 and PPIA were upregulated at transcriptional level. Differential protein expression levels were validated by Western blot analysis using an independent set of 10 paired lung adenocarcinoma samples. Using immunohistochemistry on human tissue sections, we discovered that overexpression of TAGLN was strictly localized to the tumor-induced reactive myofibroblastic stromal tissue compartment, whereas overexpression of TAGLN2 was exclusively localized to the neoplastic glandular compartment. Thus, the highly homologous protein pair TAGLN and TAGLN2 displayed mutually exclusive, compartment-specific cell type expression regulation in tumor stroma vs. neoplastic epithelial cells. |
Our data further suggest that TGLN may be a marker of active stromal remodeling in the vicinity of invasive carcinomas. It may shed light on mechanisms of tumor-stroma interaction and could be useful for early diagnosis, treatment guidance, and treatment response monitoring.