Article Abstract

An efficient method for native protein purification in the selected range from prostate cancer tissue digests

Authors: Rumana Ahmad, Carrie D. Nicora, Anil K. Shukla, Richard D. Smith, Wei-Jun Qian, Alvin Y. Liu


Background: Prostate cancer (CP) cells differ from their normal counterpart in gene expression. Genes encoding secreted or extracellular proteins with increased expression in CP may serve as potential biomarkers. For their detection and quantification, assays based on monoclonal antibodies are best suited for development in a clinical setting. One approach to obtain antibodies is to use recombinant proteins as immunogen. However, the synthesis of recombinant protein for each identified candidate is time-consuming and expensive. It is also not practical to generate high quality antibodies to all identified candidates individually. Furthermore, non-native forms (e.g., recombinant) of proteins may not always lead to useful antibodies. Our approach was to purify a subset of proteins from CP tissue specimens for use as immunogen.
Methods: In the present investigation, ten cancer specimens obtained from cases scored Gleason 3+3, 3+4 and 4+3 were digested by collagenase to single cells in serum-free tissue culture media. Cells were pelleted after collagenase digestion, and the cell-free supernatant from each specimen was pooled and used for isolation of proteins in the 10–30 kDa molecular weight range using a combination of sonication, dialysis and Amicon ultrafiltration. Western blotting and mass spectrometry (MS) proteomics were performed to identify the proteins in the selected size fraction.
Results: The presence of cancer-specific anterior gradient 2 (AGR2) and absence of prostate-specific antigen (PSA)/KLK3 were confirmed by Western blotting. Proteomics also detected AGR2 among many other proteins, some outside the selected molecular weight range, as well.
Conclusions: Using this approach, the potentially harmful (to the mouse host) exogenously added collagenase was removed as well as other abundant prostatic proteins like ACPP/PAP and AZGP1 to preclude the generation of antibodies against these species. The paper presents an optimized scheme for convenient and rapid isolation of native proteins in any desired size range with minor modifications.