Cluster analysis of an extensive human breast cancer cell line protein expression map database

Proteomics. 2002 Feb;2(2):212-23. doi: 10.1002/1615-9861(200202)2:2<212::aid-prot212>;2-h.


In the current study, the protein expression maps (PEMs) of 26 breast cancer cell lines and three cell lines derived from normal breast or benign disease tissue were visualised by high resolution two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Analysis of this data was performed with ChiClust and ChiMap, two analytical bioinformatics tools that are described here. These tools are designed to facilitate recognition of specific patterns shared by two or more (a series) PEMs. Both tools use PEMs that were matched by an image analysis program and locally written programs to create a match table that is saved in an object relational database. The ChiClust tool uses clustering and subclustering methods to extract statistically significant protein expression patterns from a large series of PEMs. The ChiMap tool calculates a differential value (either as percentage change or a fold change) and represents these graphically. All such differentials or just those identified using ChiClust can be submitted to ChiMap. These methods are not dependent on any particular commercial image analysis program, and the whole software package gives an integrated procedure for the comparison and analysis of a series of PEMs. The ChiClust tool was used here to order the breast cell lines into groups according to biological characteristics including morphology in vitro and tumour forming ability in vivo. ChiMap was then used to highlight eight major protein feature-changes detected between breast cancer cell lines that either do or do not proliferate in nude mice. Mass spectrometry was used to identify the proteins. The possible role of these proteins in cancer is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Breast Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Computational Biology
  • Databases, Protein
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Peptide Mapping
  • Proteome / isolation & purification
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tumor Stem Cell Assay


  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Proteome