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Santos J.,Portuguese Institute for Oncology of Porto | Fernandes E.,Portuguese Institute for Oncology of Porto | Ferreira J.A.,Portuguese Institute for Oncology of Porto | Ferreira J.A.,University of Aveiro | And 14 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2014

Bladder cancer is a significant health problem in rural areas of Africa and the Middle East where Schistosoma haematobium is prevalent, supporting an association between malignant transformation and infection by this blood fluke. Nevertheless, the molecular mechanisms linking these events are poorly understood. Bladder cancers in infected populations are generally diagnosed at a late stage since there is a lack of non-invasive diagnostic tools, hence enforcing the need for early carcinogenesis markers. Forty-three formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded bladder biopsies of S. haematobium-infected patients, consisting of bladder tumours, tumour adjacent mucosa and pre-malignant/malignant urothelial lesions, were screened for bladder cancer biomarkers. These included the oncoprotein p53, the tumour proliferation rate (Ki-67>17%), cell-surface cancer-associated glycan sialyl-Tn (sTn) and sialyl-Lewisa/x (sLea/sLex), involved in immune escape and metastasis. Bladder tumours of non-S. haematobium etiology and normal urothelium were used as controls. S. haematobium-associated benign/pre-malignant lesions present alterations in p53 and sLex that were also found in bladder tumors. Similar results were observed in non-S. haematobium associated tumours, irrespectively of their histological nature, denoting some common molecular pathways. In addition, most benign/pre-malignant lesions also expressed sLea. However, proliferative phenotypes were more prevalent in lesions adjacent to bladder tumors while sLea was characteristic of sole benign/pre-malignant lesions, suggesting it may be a biomarker of early carcionogenesis associated with the parasite. A correlation was observed between the frequency of the biomarkers in the tumor and adjacent mucosa, with the exception of Ki-67. Most S. haematobium eggs embedded in the urothelium were also positive for sLea and sLex. Reinforcing the pathologic nature of the studied biomarkers, none was observed in the healthy urothelium. This preliminary study suggests that p53 and sialylated glycans are surrogate biomarkers of bladder cancerization associated with S. haematobium, highlighting a missing link between infection and cancer development. Eggs of S. haematobium express sLea and sLex antigens in mimicry of human leukocytes glycosylation, which may play a role in the colonization and disease dissemination. These observations may help the early identification of infected patients at a higher risk of developing bladder cancer and guide the future development of non-invasive diagnostic tests. © 2014 Santos et al. Source

Fernandes E.,Portuguese Institute of Oncology | Fernandes E.,University of Porto | Peixoto A.,Portuguese Institute of Oncology | Neves M.,Portuguese Institute of Oncology | And 6 more authors.
Electrophoresis | Year: 2015

Esophageal cancers (ECs) show poor prognosis and decreased overall survival due to late diagnosis and ineffective therapeutics, urging the introduction of novel biomarkers to aid disease management. The levels of sialyl-Lewis(a) antigen (sLea) are frequently increased in digestive tumours, which has been explored in serological non-invasive prognostication (CA19-9 test); however, with low sensitivity and specificity. Autoantibodies against cancer antigens are considered the next generation biomarkers, as they are present in circulation long before tumour-associated proteins. Based on these observations we have mined the serum of EC patients (n = 7) for antibodies against sLea-glycosylated protein species. All EC were positive for sLea, irrespectively of their histological nature but only two patients showed elevated CA19-9. Moreover, IgG titers, with emphasis on IgG1, were elevated in EC patients in comparison to the control group. SLea-glycoproteins were then extracted from tumours of patients with negative CA19-9, isolated by immunoprecipitation and blotted with patients IgG. Autoantibodies against sLea-glycosylated proteins were detected in all cases. Different SLea-glycoproteins were observed for tumours of distinct histological natures, which now require identification and validation in larger patient sets. This preliminary data suggests that antoantibodies against sLea glycosylated proteins hold potential for non-invasive diagnosis in CA19-9 negative cases and sets the rational for future immunoproteomic studies envisaging highly specific EC biomarkers. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

Almeida A.,University of Aveiro | Ferreira J.A.,University of Aveiro | Ferreira J.A.,Portuguese Institute for Oncology | Teixeira F.,University of Porto | And 8 more authors.
Electrophoresis | Year: 2013

The identification of sialylated Thomsen-Friedenreich antigens in proteins poses much interest in the context of cancer research. MALDI-TOF-MS is a powerful technique for this purpose; still it shows considerable low sensitivity for sialylated molecules due to in-source and metastable decomposition. Herein, we report a target-driven strategy to identify these antigens in minute amounts of glycoproteins isolated in polyacrylamide gels. The glycans were recovered from gel spots by reductive β-elimination, permethylated and analyzed by nano-LC-MALDI-TOF-MS. A computational algorithm was developed to filter spectral noise and enhance/isolate the signals of interest. Sialylated antigens were identified in minute amounts of fetuin (0.1 μg) and plasminogen (1.0 μg) by this approach. MS assignments were further validated by enzymatic methods. This methodology allowed a fivefold decrease in the current LOD of fetuin sialylated O-glycans by MALDI-TOF-MS. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

Ferreira J.A.,Portuguese Institute for Oncology of Porto | Ferreira J.A.,University of Aveiro | Ferreira J.A.,University of Porto | Peixoto A.,Portuguese Institute for Oncology of Porto | And 6 more authors.
Drug Resistance Updates | Year: 2016

Cisplatin-based chemotherapeutic regimens are the most frequently used (neo)adjuvant treatments for the majority of solid tumors. While platinum-based chemotherapeutic regimens have proven effective against highly proliferative malignant tumors, significant relapse and progression rates as well as decreased overall survival are still observed. Currently, it is known that sub-populations of chemoresistant cells share biological properties with cancer stem cells (CSC), which are believed to be responsible for tumor relapse, invasion and ultimately disease dissemination through acquisition of mesenchymal cell traits. In spite of concentrated efforts devoted to decipher the mechanisms underlying CSC chemoresistance and to design targeted therapeutics to these cells, proteomics has failed to unveil molecular signatures capable of distinguishing between malignant and non-malignant stem cells. This has hampered substantial developments in this complex field. Envisaging a novel rationale for an effective therapy, the current review summarizes the main cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cisplatin resistance and the impact of chemotherapy challenge in CSC selection and clinical outcome. It further emphasizes the growing amount of data supporting a role for protein glycosylation in drug resistance. The dynamic and context-dependent nature of protein glycosylation is also comprehensively discussed, hence highlighting its potentially important role as a biomarker of CSC. As the paradigm of cancer therapeutics shifts towards precision medicine and patient-tailored therapeutics, we bring into focus the need to introduce glycomics and glycoproteomics in holistic pan-omics models, in order to integrate diverse, multimodal and clinically relevant information towards more effective cancer therapeutics. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Gomes C.,University of Porto | Almeida A.,University of Aveiro | Ferreira J.A.,University of Aveiro | Ferreira J.A.,Portuguese Institute for Oncology | And 13 more authors.
Journal of Proteome Research | Year: 2013

Gastric cancer is preceded by a carcinogenesis pathway that includes gastritis caused by Helicobacter pylori infection, chronic atrophic gastritis that may progress to intestinal metaplasia (IM), dysplasia, and ultimately gastric carcinoma of the more common intestinal subtype. The identification of glycosylation changes in circulating serum proteins in patients with precursor lesions of gastric cancer is of high interest and represents a source of putative new biomarkers for early diagnosis and intervention. This study applies a glycoproteomic approach to identify altered glycoproteins expressing the simple mucin-type carbohydrate antigens T and STn in the serum of patients with gastritis, IM (complete and incomplete subtypes), and control healthy individuals. The immunohistochemistry analysis of the gastric mucosa of these patients showed expression of T and STn antigens in gastric lesions, with STn being expressed only in IM. The serum glycoproteomic analysis using 2D-gel electrophoresis, Western blot, and MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry led to the identification of circulating proteins carrying these altered glycans. One of the glycoproteins identified was plasminogen, a protein that has been reported to play a role in H. pylori chronic infection of the gastric mucosa and is involved in extracellular matrix modeling and degradation. Plasminogen was further characterized and showed to carry STn antigens in patients with gastritis and IM. These results provide evidence of serum proteins displaying abnormal O-glycosylation in patients with precursor lesions of gastric carcinoma and include a panel of putative targets for the non-invasive clinical diagnosis of individuals with gastritis and IM. © 2013 American Chemical Society. Source

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