A novel phosphoprotein analysis scheme for assessing changes in premalignant and malignant breast cell lines using 2-D liquid separations, protein microarrays, and tandem mass spectrometry

Tasneem H. Patwa, Yanfei Wang, Fred R. Miller, Steve Goodison, Subramaniam Pennathur, Timothy J. Barder, David M. Lubman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


An analysis of phosphorylation changes that occur during cancer progression would provide insights into the molecular pathways responsible for a malignant phenotype. In this study we employed a novel coupling of 2-D liquid separations and protein microarray technology to reveal changes in phosphoprotein status between premalignant (AT1) and malignant (CA1a) cell lines derived from the human MCF10A breast cell lines. Intact proteins were first separated according to their pI and hydrophobicities, then arrayed on SuperAmine glass slides. Phosphoproteins were detected using the universal, inorganic phospho-sensor dye, Pro-Q Diamond. Using this dye, out of 140 spots that were positive for phosphorylation, a total of 85 differentially expressed spots were detected over a pH range of 7.2-4.0. Proteins were identified and their peptides sequenced by MS. The strategy enabled the identification of 75 differentially expressed phosphoproteins, from which 51 phosphorylation sites in 27 unique proteins were confirmed. Interestingly, the majority of differentially expressed phosphorylated proteins observed were nuclear proteins. Three regulators of apoptosis, Bad, Bax, and Acinus, were also differentially phosphorylated in the two cell lines. Further development of this strategy will facilitate an understanding of the mechanisms involved in malignancy progression and other disease-related phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-66
Number of pages16
JournalProteomics - Clinical Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 14 2009



  • Breast cancer
  • Liquid chromatography
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein microarray
  • Tandem mass spectrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry

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