Functional proteomic analysis of melanoma progression.
Functional proteomics provides a powerful approach to screen for alterations in protein expression and posttranslational modifications under conditions of human disease. In this study, we use protein screening to examine markers of melanoma progression, by profiling melanocyte versus melanoma cell lines using two-dimensional electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. Eight candidate markers were identified as differentially regulated in transformed cells. In particular, hepatoma-derived growth factor (HDGF) and nucleophosmin B23 were strongly correlated with melanoma. Nucleophosmin B23 is a nucleolar and centrosome-associated protein, which has been implicated as a target for cyclin E/cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) in modulating centrosome duplication and cell cycle control. Western blotting of one-dimensional and two-dimensional gels showed that the form of nucleophosmin B23 that is up-regulated in melanoma represents a posttranslationally modified form, most likely reflecting enhanced phosphorylation in the tumor-derived cells. In contrast, Western analysis of HDGF demonstrated increased expression of all forms in melanoma cell lines compared with melanocytes. Immunohistochemical analysis of human tissue biopsies showed strong expression of HDGF in early and late stage melanomas and low expression in melanocytes and nontumorigenic nevi. Interestingly, biopsies of nevi showed a graded effect in which HDGF immunoreactivity was reduced in nevoid nests penetrating deep into the dermis compared with nests at the epidermal-dermal junction, suggesting that HDGF expression in nevi is dependent on epidermal cell interactions. In contrast, biopsies of melanoma showed strong expression of HDGF throughout the tumor, including cells located deeply within dermis. Thus, expression of this antigen likely reports a reduced dependence of protein expression on epidermal interactions.