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Proteins and an Inflammatory Network Expressed in Colon Tumors

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posted on 06.05.2011, 00:00 by Wenhong Zhu, Changming Fang, Kosi Gramatikoff, Christina C. Niemeyer, Jeffrey W. Smith
The adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) protein is crucial to homeostasis of normal intestinal epithelia because it suppresses the β-catenin/TCF pathway. Consequently, loss or mutation of the APC gene causes colorectal tumors in humans and mice. Here, we describe our use of multidimensional protein identification technology (MudPIT) to compare protein expression in colon tumors to that of adjacent healthy colon tissue from ApcMin/+ mice. Twenty-seven proteins were found to be up-regulated in colon tumors and 25 were down-regulated. As an extension of the proteomic analysis, the differentially expressed proteins were used as “seeds” to search for coexpressed genes. This approach revealed a coexpression network of 45 genes that is up-regulated in colon tumors. Members of the network include the antibacterial peptide cathelicidin (CAMP), Toll-like receptors (TLRs), IL-8, and triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1 (TREM1). The coexpression network is associated with innate immunity and inflammation, and there is significant concordance between its connectivity in humans versus mice (Friedman: p value = 0.0056). This study provides new insights into the proteins and networks that are likely to drive the onset and progression of colon cancer.