Phosphoproteomics Profiling of Nonsmall Cell Lung Cancer Cells Treated with a Novel Phosphatase Activator

Proteomics. 2017 Nov;17(22):10.1002/pmic.201700214. doi: 10.1002/pmic.201700214. Epub 2017 Oct 25.


Activation of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is a promising anticancer therapeutic strategy, as this tumor suppressor has the ability to coordinately downregulate multiple pathways involved in the regulation of cellular growth and proliferation. In order to understand the systems-level perturbations mediated by PP2A activation, we carried out mass spectrometry-based phosphoproteomic analysis of two KRAS mutated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines (A549 and H358) treated with a novel small molecule activator of PP2A (SMAP). Overall, this permitted quantification of differential signaling across over 1600 phosphoproteins and 3000 phosphosites. Kinase activity assessment and pathway enrichment implicate collective downregulation of RAS and cell cycle kinases in the case of both cell lines upon PP2A activation. However, the effects on RAS-related signaling are attenuated for A549 compared to H358, while the effects on cell cycle-related kinases are noticeably more prominent in A549. Network-based analyses and validation experiments confirm these detailed differences in signaling. These studies reveal the power of phosphoproteomics studies, coupled to computational systems biology, to elucidate global patterns of phosphatase activation and understand the variations in response to PP2A activation across genetically similar NSCLC cell lines.

Keywords: label-free; nonsmall cell lung cancer; phosphatase; phosphoproteomics; signaling.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism*
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Phosphatase 2 / metabolism*
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Small Molecule Libraries / pharmacology*


  • Phosphoproteins
  • Small Molecule Libraries
  • Protein Phosphatase 2