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Proteomic patterns of cervical cancer cell lines, a network perspective

Juan Carlos Higareda-Almaraz1, María del Rocío Enríquez-Gasca12, Magdalena Hernández-Ortiz1, Osbaldo Resendis-Antonio1 and Sergio Encarnación-Guevara1*

Author Affiliations

1 Centro de Ciencias Genómicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Apdo, Postal 565-A, Cuernavaca, Morelos, CP 62210, México

2 Licenciatura en Ciencias Genómicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Apdo. Postal 565-A, Cuernavaca, Morelos, CP 62210, México

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BMC Systems Biology 2011, 5:96  doi:10.1186/1752-0509-5-96

Published: 22 June 2011



Cervical cancer is a major mortality factor in the female population. This neoplastic is an excellent model for studying the mechanisms involved in cancer maintenance, because the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the etiology factor in most cases. With the purpose of characterizing the effects of malignant transformation in cellular activity, proteomic studies constitute a reliable way to monitor the biological alterations induced by this disease. In this contextual scheme, a systemic description that enables the identification of the common events between cell lines of different origins, is required to distinguish the essence of carcinogenesis.


With this study, we sought to achieve a systemic perspective of the common proteomic profile of six cervical cancer cell lines, both positive and negative for HPV, and which differ from the profile corresponding to the non-tumourgenic cell line, HaCaT. Our objectives were to identify common cellular events participating in cancer maintenance, as well as the establishment of a pipeline to work with proteomic-derived results. We analyzed by means of 2D SDS-PAGE and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry the protein extracts of six cervical cancer cell lines, from which we identified a consensus of 66 proteins. We call this group of proteins, the "central core of cervical cancer". Starting from this core set of proteins, we acquired a PPI network that pointed, through topological analysis, to some proteins that may well be playing a central role in the neoplastic process, such as 14-3-3ζ. In silico overrepresentation analysis of transcription factors pointed to the overexpression of c-Myc, Max and E2F1 as key transcription factors involved in orchestrating the neoplastic phenotype.


Our findings show that there is a "central core of cervical cancer" protein expression pattern, and suggest that 14-3-3ζ is key to determine if the cell proliferates or dies. In addition, our bioinformatics analysis suggests that the neoplastic phenotype is governed by a non-canonical regulatory pathway.