Proteomics of breast cancer for marker discovery and signal pathway profiling

Proteomics. 2001 Oct;1(10):1216-32. doi: 10.1002/1615-9861(200110)1:10<1216::AID-PROT1216>3.0.CO;2-P.


Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women and the identification of markers to discriminate tumorigenic from normal cells, as well as the different stages of this pathology, is of critical importance. Two-dimensional electrophoresis has been used before for studying breast cancer, but the progressive completion of human genomic sequencing and the introduction of mass spectrometry, combined with advanced bioinformatics for protein identification, have considerably increased the possibilities for characterizing new markers and therapeutic targets. Breast cancer proteomics has already identified markers of potential clinical interest (such as the molecular chaperone 14-3-3 sigma) and technological innovations such as large scale and high throughput analysis are now driving the field. Methods in functional proteomics have also been developed to study the intracellular signaling pathways that underlie the development of breast cancer. As illustrated with fibroblast growth factor-2, a mitogen and motogen factor for breast cancer cells, proteomics is a powerful approach to identify signaling proteins and to decipher the complex signaling circuitry involved in tumor growth. Together with genomics, proteomics is well on the way to molecularly characterizing the different types of breast tumor, and thus defining new therapeutic targets for future treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 14-3-3 Proteins
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / chemistry
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Biopsy
  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional
  • Exonucleases*
  • Exoribonucleases
  • Female
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Proteins / analysis
  • Neoplasm Proteins / chemistry
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Proteome / analysis
  • Proteome / chemistry
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization


  • 14-3-3 Proteins
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Proteome
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • Exonucleases
  • Exoribonucleases
  • SFN protein, human