Research Papers:

Altered phosphatidylcholines expression in sputum for diagnosis of non-small cell lung cancer

Jianyong Zhang, Jianjun Xu, Haiyan Lu, Jianhua Ding, Dongliang Yu, Penghui Li, Jianwen Xiong, Xingxing Liu, Huanwen Chen and Yiping Wei _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:63158-63165. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11283

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Jianyong Zhang1,*, Jianjun Xu1,*, Haiyan Lu2, Jianhua Ding2, Dongliang Yu1, Penghui Li2, Jianwen Xiong1, Xingxing Liu2, Huanwen Chen2, Yiping Wei1

1Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, Jiangxi Province 330006, P. R. China

2Jiangxi Key Laboratory for Mass Spectrometry and Instrumentation, East China Institute of Technology, Nanchang, Jiangxi Province 330013, P. R. China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Yiping Wei, email: [email protected]

Huanwen Chen, email: [email protected]

Keywords: NSCLC, sputum, phosphatidylcholines, ND-EESI-MS

Received: March 30, 2016     Accepted: July 19, 2016     Published: August 13, 2016


Non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide, and early diagnosis needs to be improved. We examined whether neutral desorption extractive electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ND-EESI-MS) could be used to detect sputum lipids expression changes to enable earlier diagnosis. Overall, 167 NSCLC patients and 140 controls were enrolled. The main peaks in the sputum of patients with NSCLC patients differed from controls (83.3% of total variability), and the signals were not associated with pathological type, TNM stage or smoking history. The relative abundance of peaks at m/z734, m/ z756, m/z772, m/z782, m/z798 and m/z803 reliably distinguished NSCLC sputum from control. Collision-induced dissociation confirmed that m/z734, m/z756, and m/z772 represented [DPPC + H]+, [DPPC + Na]+, and [DPPC + K]+, respectively, and m/z782, m/z798, and m/z803 represented sphingomyelin, phosphatidylglycerol, and phosphatidylglycerolphosphate, respectively. The relative abundance of DPPC was clearly lower in NSCLC sputum than in control, and the relative abundances of phosphatidylglycerol and phosphatidylglycerolphosphate were higher in NSCLC sputum than in control. The detection of changes in sputum lipids with ND-EESI-MS may be a noninvasive, radiation-free, relatively inexpensive, repeatable, and efficient method for diagnosis of NSCLC.

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