An optimized isolation of biotinylated cell surface proteins reveals novel players in cancer metastasis

Piia Riitta Karhemo, Suvi Ravela, Marko Laakso, Ilja Ritamo, Olga Tatti, Selina Mäkinen, Steve Goodison, Ulf Håkan Stenman, Erkki Hölttä, Sampsa Hautaniemi, Leena Valmu, Kaisa Lehti, Pirjo Laakkonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Details of metastasis, the deadliest aspect of cancer, are unclear. Cell surface proteins play central roles in adhesive contacts between the tumor cell and the stroma during metastasis. We optimized a fast, small-scale isolation of biotinylated cell surface proteins to reveal novel metastasis-associated players from an isogenic pair of human MDA-MB-435 cancer cells with opposite metastatic phenotypes. Isolated proteins were trypsin digested and analyzed using LC-MS/MS followed by quantitation with the Progenesis LC-MS software. Sixteen proteins displayed over twofold expression differences between the metastatic and non-metastatic cells. Interestingly, overexpression of most of them (14/16) in the metastatic cells indicates a gain of novel surface protein profile as compared to the non-metastatic ones. All five validated, differentially expressed proteins showed higher expression in the metastatic cells in culture, and four of these were further validated in vivo. Moreover, we analyzed expression of two of the identified proteins, CD109 and ITGA6 in 3-dimensional cultures of six melanoma cell lines. Both proteins marked the surface of cells derived from melanoma metastasis over cells derived from primary melanoma. The unbiased identification and validation of both known and novel metastasis-associated proteins indicate a reliable approach for the identification of differentially expressed surface proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-100
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Proteomics
StatePublished - 2012


  • Biotinylation
  • CD109
  • Cell surface
  • ITGA6
  • LC-MS/MS
  • Metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry


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