An Integrated Meta-Analysis of Secretome and Proteome Identify Potential Biomarkers of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is extremely aggressive, has an unfavorable prognosis, and there are no biomarkers for early detection of the disease or identification of individuals at high risk for morbidity or mortality. The cellular and molecular complexity of PDAC leads to inconsistences in clinical validations of many proteins that have been evaluated as prognostic biomarkers of the disease. The tumor secretome, a potential source of biomarkers in PDAC, plays a crucial role in
... proliferation and metastasis, as well as in resistance to treatments, which together contribute to a worse clinical outcome. The massive amount of proteomic data from pancreatic cancer that has been generated from previous studies can be integrated and explored to uncover secreted proteins relevant to the diagnosis and prognosis of the disease. The present study aimed to perform an integrated meta-analysis of PDAC proteome and secretome public data to identify potential biomarkers of the disease. Our meta-analysis combined mass spectrometry data obtained from two systematic reviews of the pancreatic cancer literature, which independently selected 20 studies of the secretome and 35 of the proteome. Next, we predicted the secreted proteins using seven in silico tools or databases, which identified 39 secreted proteins shared between the secretome and proteome data. Notably, the expression of 31 genes of these secretome-related proteins was upregulated in PDAC samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) when compared to control samples from TCGA and The Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx). The prognostic value of these 39 secreted proteins in predicting survival outcome was confirmed using gene expression data from four PDAC datasets (validation set). The gene expression of these secreted proteins was able to distinguish high- and low-survival patients in nine additional tumor types from TCGA, demonstrating that deregulation of these secreted proteins may also contribute to the prognosis in multiple cancers types. Finally, we compared the prognostic value of the identified secreted proteins in PDAC biomarkers studies from the literature. This analysis revealed that our gene signature performed equally well or better than the signatures from these previous studies. In conclusion, our integrated meta-analysis of PDAC proteome and secretome identified 39 secreted proteins as potential biomarkers, and the tumor gene expression profile of these proteins in patients with PDAC is associated with worse overall survival.