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Cell Cycle Model System for Advancing Cancer Biomarker Research
Lazar, Iulia M.
de Morais, Juliana
Tenga, Milagros J.
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Progress in understanding the complexity of a devastating disease such as cancer has underscored the need for developing comprehensive panels of molecular markers for early disease detection and precision medicine applications. The present study was conducted to assess whether a cohesive biological context can be assigned to protein markers derived from public data mining, and whether mass spectrometry can be utilized to screen for the co-expression of functionally related biomarkers to be recommended for further exploration in clinical context. Cell cycle arrest/release experiments of MCF7/SKBR3 breast cancer and MCF10 non-tumorigenic cells were used as a surrogate to support the production of proteins relevant to aberrant cell proliferation. Information downloaded from the scientific public domain was queried with bioinformatics tools to generate an initial list of 1038 cancer-associated proteins. Mass spectrometric analysis of cell extracts identified 352 proteins that could be matched to the public list. Differential expression, enrichment, and protein-protein interaction analysis of the proteomic data revealed several functionally-related clusters of relevance to cancer. The results demonstrate that public data derived from independent experiments can be used to inform biological research and support the development of molecular assays for probing the characteristics of a disease.