In-depth proteomic analyses of ovarian cancer cell line exosomes reveals differential enrichment of functional categories compared to the NCI 60 proteome

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014 Mar 21;445(4):694-701. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2013.12.070. Epub 2014 Jan 14.


Molecular communication between cancer cells and its stromal microenvironment is a key factor for cancer progression. Alongside classic secretory pathways, it has recently been proposed that small membranous vesicles are alternative mediators of intercellular communication. Exosomes carry an effector-rich proteome with the ability to modulate various functional properties of the recipient cell. In this study, exosomes isolated from four epithelial ovarian cancer cell lines (OVCAR3, OVCAR433, OVCAR5 and SKOV3) were characterized using mass spectrometry-based proteomics. Using an optimized workflow consisting of efficient exosome solubilization and the latest generation of proteomic instrumentation, we demonstrate improved detection depth. Systematic comparison of our cancer cell line exosome proteome against public data (Exocarta) and the recently published NCI 60 proteome revealed enrichment of functional categories related to signaling biology and biomarker discovery.

Keywords: Epithelial ovarian cancer; Exosomes; Mass spectrometry; Proteomics; Trifluoroethanol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Exosomes / metabolism
  • Exosomes / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / pathology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Ovary / metabolism
  • Ovary / pathology
  • Proteome / analysis
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Proteomics / methods*


  • Proteome