Measuring the intra-individual variability of the plasma proteome in the chicken model of spontaneous ovarian adenocarcinoma

Anal Bioanal Chem. 2010 Sep;398(2):737-49. doi: 10.1007/s00216-010-3979-y. Epub 2010 Jul 17.


The domestic chicken (Gallus domesticus) has emerged as a powerful experimental model for studying the onset and progression of spontaneous epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) with a disease prevalence that can exceed 35% between 2 and 7 years of age. An experimental strategy for biomarker discovery is reported herein that combines the chicken model of EOC, longitudinal plasma sample collection with matched tissues, advanced mass spectrometry-based proteomics, and concepts derived from the index of individuality (Harris, Clin Chem 20: 1535-1542, 1974). Blood was drawn from 148 age-matched chickens starting at 2.5 years of age every 3 months for 1 year. At the conclusion of the 1 year sample collection period, the 73 birds that remained alive were euthanized, necropsied, and tissues were collected. Pathological assessment of resected tissues from these 73 birds confirmed that five birds (6.8%) developed EOC. A proteomics workflow including in-gel digestion, nanoLC coupled to high-performance mass spectrometry, and label-free (spectral counting) quantification was used to measure the biological intra-individual variability (CV(W)) of the chicken plasma proteome. Longitudinal plasma sample sets from two birds within the 73-bird biorepository were selected for this study; one bird was considered "healthy" and the second bird developed late-stage EOC. A total of 116 proteins from un-depleted plasma were identified with 80 proteins shared among all sample sets. Analytical variability (CV(A)) of the label-free proteomics workflow was measured using a single plasma sample analyzed five times and was found to be ≥CV(W) in both birds for 16 proteins (20%) and in either bird for 25 proteins (31%). Ovomacroglobulin (ovostatin) was found to increase (p < 0.001) over a 6 month period in the late-stage EOC bird providing an initial candidate protein for further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Animals
  • Chickens
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Plasma / metabolism*
  • Proteome / analysis
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Proteomics / methods*


  • Proteome