A multiplex tissue immunoblotting assay for proteomic profiling: a pilot study of the normal to tumor transition of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006 Jul;15(7):1403-8. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-05-0651.


Esophageal cancer remains a highly lethal malignancy for which the genetic and proteomic events are poorly understood. Studies have reported dysregulated proteins in esophageal carcinoma; however, the magnitude of these changes remains largely uncharacterized. Little is known about alterations early in the neoplastic pathway. Using multiplex tissue immunoblotting, we quantified the expression of seven proteins in esophageal carcinogenesis. Regions of normal, dysplasia, and invasive carcinoma of the squamous esophagus in six patients were characterized. Pan-cytokeratin (CK) was essentially unchanged across the transition (0.96 in dysplasia and 0.69 in tumor). Expression levels of annexin 1, CK-4, and CK-14 were all decreased in dysplasia and tumor compared with normal (reference, 1.00): annexin 1, 0.30 in dysplasia and 0.15 in tumor; CK-4, 0.20 in dysplasia and 0.16 in tumor; and CK-14, 0.54 in dysplasia and 0.40 in tumor. Expression of two proteins was increased in dysplasia and tumor versus normal: cyclooxygenase-2, 1.35 in dysplasia and 2.32 in tumor and p53, 1.29 in dysplasia and 2.37 in tumor. Secreted protein, acidic and rich in cysteine, which is expressed in the adjacent stroma, was 1.56-fold higher in stroma underlying dysplasia and 6.20-fold increased in dysplastic stroma surrounding invasive tumor. These findings suggest that changes in protein expression can be detected during the transition to dysplasia and may be useful biomarkers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Disease Progression
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Esophagus / metabolism*
  • Esophagus / pathology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Keratins / metabolism
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / diagnosis
  • Osteonectin / metabolism
  • Pilot Projects
  • Precancerous Conditions / metabolism*
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology
  • Proteome / analysis*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Osteonectin
  • Proteome
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Keratins