Although DNA encodes the molecular instructions that underlie the control of cell function, it is the proteins that are primarily responsible for implementing those instructions. Therefore quantitative analyses of the proteome would be expected to yield insights into important candidates for the detection and treatment of disease. We present an iTRAQ (isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantification)-based proteomic analysis of ten ovarian cancer cell lines and two normal ovarian surface epithelial cell lines. We profiled the abundance of 2659 cellular proteins of which 1273 were common to all 12 cell lines. Of the 1273, 75 proteins exhibited elevated expression and 164 proteins had diminished expression in the cancerous cells compared with the normal cell lines. The iTRAQ expression profiles allowed us to segregate cell lines based upon sensitivity and resistance to carboplatin. Importantly, we observed no substantial correlation between protein abundance and RNA expression or epigenetic DNA methylation data. Furthermore, we could not discriminate between sensitivity and resistance to carboplatin on the basis of RNA expression and DNA methylation data alone. The present study illustrates the importance of proteomics-based discovery for defining the basis for the carboplatin response in ovarian cancer and highlights candidate proteins, particularly involved in cellular redox regulation, homologous recombination and DNA damage repair, which otherwise could not have been predicted from whole genome and expression data sources alone.
School of Medicine