We have previously developed an approach, where two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE) was used, followed by sectional analysis of the whole gel using high-resolution nano-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (ESI LC-MS/MS). In this study, we applied this approach on the panoramic analysis of proteins and their proteoforms from normal (liver) and cancer (HepG2) cells. This allowed us to detect, in a single proteome, about 20,000 proteoforms coded by more than 4000 genes. A set of 3D-graphs showing distribution of these proteoforms in 2DE maps (profiles) was generated. A comparative analysis of these profiles between normal and cancer cells showed high variability and dynamics of many proteins. Among these proteins, there are some well-known features like alpha-fetoprotein (FETA) or glypican-3 (GPC3) and potential hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) markers. More detailed information about their proteoforms could be used for generation of panels of more specific biomarkers.
Keywords: 2DE; ESI LC-MS/MS; abundance; biomarker; dynamics; protein species/proteoform; proteome.