Differential plasma glycoproteome of p19ARF skin cancer mouse model using the Corra label-free LC-MS proteomics platform

Simon Letarte, Mi Youn Brusniak, David Campbell, James Eddes, Christopher J. Kemp, Hollis Lau, Lukas Mueller, Alexander Schmidt, Paul Shannon, Karen S. Kelly-Spratt, Olga Vitek, Hui Zhang, Ruedi Aebersold, Julian D. Watts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: A proof-of-concept demonstration of the use of label-free quantitative glycoproteomics for biomarker discovery workflow is presented in this paper, using a mouse model for skin cancer as an example. Materials and Methods: Blood plasma was collected from ten control mice and ten mice having a mutation in the p19ARF gene, conferring them high propensity to develop skin cancer after carcinogen exposure. We enriched for N-glycosylated plasma proteins, ultimately generating deglycosylated forms of the tryptic peptides for liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analyses. LC-MS runs for each sample were then performed with a view to identifying proteins that were differentially abundant between the two mouse populations. We then used a recently developed computational framework, Corra, to perform peak picking and alignment, and to compute the statistical significance of any observed changes in individual peptide abundances. Once determined, the most discriminating peptide features were then fragmented and identified by tandem mass spectrometry with the use of inclusion lists. Results and Discussions: We assessed the identified proteins to see if there were sets of proteins indicative of specific biological processes that correlate with the presence of disease, and specifically cancer, according to their functional annotations. As expected for such sick animals, many of the proteins identified were related to host immune response. However, a significant number of proteins are also directly associated with processes linked to cancer development, including proteins related to the cell cycle, localization, transport, and cell death. Additional analysis of the same samples in profiling mode, and in triplicate, confirmed that replicate MS analysis of the same plasma sample generated less variation than that observed between plasma samples from different individuals, demonstrating that the reproducibility of the LC-MS platform was sufficient for this application. Conclusion: These results thus show that an LC-MS-based workflow can be a useful tool for the generation of candidate proteins of interest as part of a disease biomarker discovery effort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-116
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Proteomics
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008


  • Biomarker discovery
  • Glycoproteomics
  • LC-MS
  • Label-free protein quantification
  • Plasma
  • Skin cancer
  • Systems biology
  • Targeted peptide sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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    Letarte, S., Brusniak, M. Y., Campbell, D., Eddes, J., Kemp, C. J., Lau, H., Mueller, L., Schmidt, A., Shannon, P., Kelly-Spratt, K. S., Vitek, O., Zhang, H., Aebersold, R., & Watts, J. D. (2008). Differential plasma glycoproteome of p19ARF skin cancer mouse model using the Corra label-free LC-MS proteomics platform. Clinical Proteomics, 4(3-4), 105-116. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12014-008-9018-8