J Cancer 2017; 8(4):570-577. doi:10.7150/jca.17414

Research Paper

Proteomic Characterization Reveals a Molecular Portrait of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Differentiation

Zhefeng Xiao1, Maoyu Li1, Guoqing Li1, Ying Fu1, Fang Peng1, Yongheng Chen1,2,3✉, Zhuchu Chen1,2,3

1. Key Laboratory of Cancer Proteomics of Chinese Ministry of Health, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, P. R. China;
2. State Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics, School of Life Sciences, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, P.R. China;
3. Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine (CICCM), Guangzhou, Guangdong, P. R. China.


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is categorized into three different differentiated subtypes by World Health Organization (WHO). Based on an earlier comparative proteomic database of the three histological subtypes, the study was to deepen our understanding of molecular mechanisms associated with NPC differentiation through bio-information mining. Among the three subtypes were 194 differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) of 725 identified proteins. Two DEPs, heat shock protein family B (small) member 1 (HSPB1) and keratin 5 (KRT5), were validated in a series of NPC tissue samples by using immunohistochemistry. Quantified protein families including keratins, S100 proteins (S100s) and heat shock proteins exhibited characteristic expression alterations. Comparisons of predicted bio-function activation states among different subtypes, including formation of cellular protrusion, metastasis, cell death, and viral infections, were conducted. Canonical pathway analysis inferred that Rho GTPases related signaling pathways regulated the motility and invasion of dedifferentiated NPC. In conclusion, the study explored the proteomic characteristics of NPC differentiation, which could deepen our knowledge of NPC tumorigenesis and allow the development of novel targets of therapeutic and prognostic value in NPC.

Keywords: nasopharyngeal carcinoma, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded, proteomics, Ingenuity pathway analysis.

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How to cite this article:
Xiao Z, Li M, Li G, Fu Y, Peng F, Chen Y, Chen Z. Proteomic Characterization Reveals a Molecular Portrait of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Differentiation. J Cancer 2017; 8(4):570-577. doi:10.7150/jca.17414. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v08p0570.htm