Comprehensive analysis of conditioned media from ovarian cancer cell lines identifies novel candidate markers of epithelial ovarian cancer

J Proteome Res. 2009 Oct;8(10):4705-13. doi: 10.1021/pr900411g.


Ovarian cancer remains a deadly threat to women as the disease is often diagnosed in the late stages when the chance of survival is low. There are no good biomarkers available for early detection and only a few markers have shown clinical utility for prognosis, response to therapy and disease recurrence. We mined conditioned media of four ovarian cancer cell lines (HTB75, TOV-112D, TOV-21G and RMUG-S) by two-dimensional liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Each cell line represented one of the major histological types of epithelial ovarian cancer. We identified 2039 proteins from which 228 were extracellular and 192 were plasma membrane proteins. Within the latter list, we identified several known markers of ovarian cancer including three that are well established, namely, CA-125, HE4, and KLK6. The list of 420 extracellular and membrane proteins was cross-referenced with the proteome of ascites fluid to generate a shorter list of 51 potential biomarker candidates. According to Ingenuity Pathway Analysis, two of the top 10 diseases associated with the list of 51 proteins were cancer and reproductive diseases. We selected nine proteins for preliminary validation using 20 serum samples from healthy women and 10 from women with ovarian cancer. Of the nine proteins, clusterin (increase) and IGFBP6 (decrease) showed significant differences between women with or without ovarian cancer. We conclude that in-depth proteomic analysis of cell culture supernatants of ovarian cancer cell lines can identify potential ovarian cancer biomarkers that are worth further clinical validation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Clusterin
  • Culture Media, Conditioned / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Proteins / analysis
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Subcellular Fractions / chemistry


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CLU protein, human
  • Clusterin
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Proteins