Image5_Proteomic Identification of a Gastric Tumor ECM Signature Associated With Cancer Progression.tif (2.75 MB)
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posted on 07.03.2022, 08:52 authored by Ana M. Moreira, Rui M. Ferreira, Patrícia Carneiro, Joana Figueiredo, Hugo Osório, José Barbosa, John Preto, Perpétua Pinto-do-Ó, Fátima Carneiro, Raquel Seruca

The extracellular matrix (ECM) plays an undisputable role in tissue homeostasis and its deregulation leads to altered mechanical and biochemical cues that impact cancer development and progression. Herein, we undertook a novel approach to address the role of gastric ECM in tumorigenesis, which remained largely unexplored. By combining decellularization techniques with a high-throughput quantitative proteomics approach, we have performed an extensive characterization of human gastric mucosa, uncovering its composition and distribution among tumor, normal adjacent and normal distant mucosa. Our results revealed a common ECM signature composed of 142 proteins and indicated that gastric carcinogenesis encompasses ECM remodeling through alterations in the abundance of 24 components, mainly basement membrane proteins. Indeed, we could only identify one de novo tumor-specific protein, the collagen alpha-1(X) chain (COL10A1). Functional analysis of the data demonstrated that gastric ECM remodeling favors tumor progression by activating ECM receptors and cellular processes involved in angiogenesis and cell-extrinsic metabolic regulation. By analyzing mRNA expression in an independent GC cohort available at the TGCA, we validated the expression profile of 12 differentially expressed ECM proteins. Importantly, the expression of COL1A2, LOX and LTBP2 significantly correlated with high tumor stage, with LOX and LTBP2 further impacting patient overall survival. These findings contribute for a better understanding of GC biology and highlight the role of core ECM components in gastric carcinogenesis and their clinical relevance as biomarkers of disease prognosis.

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