iTRAQ analysis of a cell culture model for malignant transformation, including comparison with 2D-PAGE and SILAC.
To study human cancer development, cell culture models for malignant transformation can be used. In 1999 Hahn and Coworkers introduced such a model system and established herewith a basis for research on human tumorigenesis. Primary human fibroblasts are sequentially transduced with defined genetic elements (hTERT, SV40 ER, and H-RasV12), resulting in four defined cell lines, whereby the last has a fully transformed phenotype. In order to get a deeper insight into the molecular biology of human tumorigenesis, we compared the proteomes of these four cell lines following a multimethod concept. At the beginning we assumed SILAC and sample fractionation with COFRADIC is the method of choice to analyze the cell culture model for malignant transformation. Here, the compared samples are combined before sample preparation, thus avoiding differences in sample preparation, and using COFRADIC notably reduces sample complexity. Because 2D-PAGE is a standard method for the separation and visualization of closely related proteomes, we decided to analyze and compare the proteomes of these four cell lines in a first approach by differential 2D-PAGE. Surprisingly, we discovered much more unique results with iTRAQ and sample fractionation with SCX than with the combination of 2D-PAGE and SILAC-COFRADIC. Moreover, iTRAQ outperforms the other strategies not only in number of yielded results but also in analysis time. Here, we present the iTRAQ quantification results and compare them with the results of 2D-PAGE and SILAC-COFRADIC. We found changes in the protein level at each transition. Thereby, SV40 has the strongest impact on the proteome. In detail we identified 201 regulated proteins. Beside others, these proteins are involved in cytoskeleton, RNA processing, and cell cycle, such as CDC2, hnRNPs, snRNPs, collagens, and MCM proteins. For example, MCM proteins are up-regulated and collagens are down-regulated due to SV40 ER expression. Furthermore we made the observation that proteins containing the same domain have analogous regulation profiles during malignant transformation. For instance, several proteins containing a CH or LIM domain are down-regulated. Moreover, by this study and the defined cell culture model, changes could be clearly matched to specific steps during tumorigenesis.