Image_1_Proteomic Characterization of Cytoplasmic Lipid Droplets in Human Metastatic Breast Cancer Cells.jpeg (252.28 kB)
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posted on 01.06.2021, 04:48 by Alyssa S. Zembroski, Chaylen Andolino, Kimberly K. Buhman, Dorothy Teegarden

One of the characteristic features of metastatic breast cancer is increased cellular storage of neutral lipid in cytoplasmic lipid droplets (CLDs). CLD accumulation is associated with increased cancer aggressiveness, suggesting CLDs contribute to metastasis. However, how CLDs contribute to metastasis is not clear. CLDs are composed of a neutral lipid core, a phospholipid monolayer, and associated proteins. Proteins that associate with CLDs regulate both cellular and CLD metabolism; however, the proteome of CLDs in metastatic breast cancer and how these proteins may contribute to breast cancer progression is unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify the proteome and assess the characteristics of CLDs in the MCF10CA1a human metastatic breast cancer cell line. Utilizing shotgun proteomics, we identified over 1500 proteins involved in a variety of cellular processes in the isolated CLD fraction. Interestingly, unlike other cell lines such as adipocytes or enterocytes, the most enriched protein categories were involved in cellular processes outside of lipid metabolism. For example, cell-cell adhesion was the most enriched category of proteins identified, and many of these proteins have been implicated in breast cancer metastasis. In addition, we characterized CLD size and area in MCF10CA1a cells using transmission electron microscopy. Our results provide a hypothesis-generating list of potential players in breast cancer progression and offers a new perspective on the role of CLDs in cancer.

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