Differentially expressed and activated proteins associated with non small cell lung cancer tissues

E. Nigro, E. Imperlini, O. Scudiero, M. L. Monaco, R. Polito, G. Mazzarella, S. Orrù, A. Bianco, A. Daniele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Lung cancer is a leading cause of mortality. The most common cancer subtype, non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), accounts for 85-90 % all cases and is mainly caused by environmental and genetic factors. Mechanisms involved in lung carcinogenesis include deregulation of several kinases and molecular pathways affecting cell proliferation, apoptosis and differentiation. Despite advances in lung cancer detection, diagnosis and staging, survival rate still remains poor and novel biomarkers for both diagnosis and therapy need to be identified. In the present study, we have explored the potential of novel specific biomarkers in the diagnosis of NSCLC, and the over-expression/activation of several kinases involved in disease development and progression. Method: Lung tumor tissue specimens and adjacent cancer-free tissues from 8 NSCLC patients undergoing surgery were collected. The differential activation status of ERK1/2, AKT and IKBaα/NF-κβ was analyzed. Subsequently, protein expression profile of NSCLC vs normal surrounding tissue was compared by a proteomic approach using LC-MS MS. Subsequently, MS/MS outputs were analyzed by the Protein Discoverer platform for label-free quantitation analysis. Finally, results were confirmed by western blotting analysis. Results: This study confirms the involvement of ERK1/2, AKT, IKBaα and NF-κβ proteins in NSCLC demonstrating a significant over-activation of all tested proteins. Furthermore, we found significant differential expression of 20 proteins (Rsc ≥ 1.50 or ≤ -1.50) of which 7 are under-expressed and 13 over-expressed in NSCLC lung tissues. Finally, we validated, by western blotting, the two most under-expressed NSCLC tissue proteins, carbonic anhydrase I and II isoforms. Conclusion: Our data further support the possibility of developing both diagnostic tests and innovative targeted therapy in NSCLC. In addition to selective inhibitors of ERK1/2, AKT, IKBaα and NF-κβ, as therapeutic options, our data, for the first time, indicates carbonic anhydrase I and II as attractive targets for development of diagnostic tools enabling selection of patients for a more specific therapy in NSCLC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number74
JournalRespiratory Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 24 2015


  • AKT
  • Carbonic anhydrase I and II isoforms [CAI, II]
  • ERK1/2
  • IKBaα
  • Lung cancer
  • Non small cell lung cancer [NSCLC]
  • ΝF-κβ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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