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Inter-and intratumoral proteomics and glycosaminoglycan characterization of ALK rearranged lung adenocarcinoma tissues pilot study

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Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer with limited therapeutic options, therefore a detailed understanding of the underlying molecular changes is of utmost importance. In this pilot study, we investigated the proteomic and glycosaminoglycan (GAG) profile of ALK rearranged lung tumor tissue regions based on the morphological classification, mucin and stromal content. Principal component analysis and hierarchical clustering revealed that both the proteomic and GAG-omic profiles are highly dependent on mucin content and to a lesser extent on morphology. We found that differentially expressed proteins between morphologically different tumor types are primarily involved in the regulation of protein synthesis, whereas those between adjacent normal and different tumor regions take part in several other biological processes (e.g. extracellular matrix organization, oxidation–reduction processes, protein folding) as well. The total amount and the sulfation profile of heparan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate showed small differences based on morphology and larger differences based on mucin content of the tumor, while an increase was observed in both the total amount and the average rate of sulfation in tumors compared to adjacent normal regions.