LC-MS/MS analysis of differentially expressed glioblastoma membrane proteome reveals altered calcium signaling and other protein groups of regulatory functions

Mol Cell Proteomics. 2012 Jun;11(6):M111.013565. doi: 10.1074/mcp.M111.013565. Epub 2012 Jan 4.


Membrane proteins play key roles in the development and progression of cancer. We have studied differentially expressed membrane proteins in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and aggressive type of primary brain tumor, by high resolution LC-MS/MS mass spectrometry and quantitation by iTRAQ. A total of 1834 membrane proteins were identified with high confidence, of which 356 proteins were found to be altered by 2-fold change or more (198 up- and 158 down-regulated); 56% of them are known membrane proteins associated with major cellular processes. Mass spectrometry results were confirmed for representative proteins on individual specimens by immunohistochemistry. On mapping of the differentially expressed proteins to cellular pathways and functional networks, we notably observed many calcium-binding proteins to be altered, implicating deregulation of calcium signaling and homeostasis in GBM, a pathway also found to be enriched in the report (Dong, H., Luo, L., Hong, S., Siu, H., Xiao, Y., Jin, L., Chen, R., and Xiong, M. (2010) Integrated analysis of mutations, miRNA and mRNA expression in glioblastoma. BMC Syst. Biol. 4, 163) based on The Cancer Genome Atlas analysis of GBMs. Annotations of the 356 proteins identified by us with The Cancer Genome Atlas transcriptome data set indicated overlap with 295 corresponding transcripts, which included 49 potential miRNA targets; many transcripts correlated with proteins in their expression status. Nearly 50% of the differentially expressed proteins could be classified as transmembrane domain or signal sequence-containing proteins (159 of 356) with potential of appearance in cerebrospinal fluid or plasma. Interestingly, 75 of them have been already reported in normal cerebrospinal fluid or plasma along with other proteins. This first, in-depth analysis of the differentially expressed membrane proteome of GBM confirms genes/proteins that have been implicated in earlier studies, as well as reveals novel candidates that are being reported for the first time in GBM or any other cancer that could be investigated further for clinical applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Calcium Signaling*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Glioblastoma / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptide Fragments / chemistry
  • Proteome / chemistry
  • Proteome / genetics
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Tissue Array Analysis


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Proteome