Research Papers:

Serum peptidome profiling for the diagnosis of colorectal cancer: discovery and validation in two independent cohorts

Hao Wang, Chenghua Luo, Shengtao Zhu, Honghong Fang, Qing Gao, Siqi Ge, Haixia Qu, Qingwei Ma, Hongwei Ren, Youxin Wang and Wei Wang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:59376-59386. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19587

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Hao Wang1,*, Chenghua Luo2,*, Shengtao Zhu3,4, Honghong Fang1, Qing Gao1, Siqi Ge1,5, Haixia Qu6, Qingwei Ma6, Hongwei Ren7, Youxin Wang1 and Wei Wang1,5

1Beijing Key Laboratory of Clinical Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100069, China

2Department of Retroperitoneal Tumors Surgery, Peking University International Hospital, Beijing 102206, China

3Department of Gastroenterology, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100069, China

4National Center for Clinical Medical Research of Digestive Diseases, Beijing 100069, China

5School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Perth 6027, Australia

6Bioyong (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd., Beijing 100085, China

7School of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Wei Wang, email: [email protected]

Youxin Wang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: colorectal cancer, peptidome, MALDI-TOF MS, diagnosis panel

Received: May 18, 2017    Accepted: June 29, 2017    Published: July 26, 2017


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common malignant neoplasms worldwide. Except for the existing fecal occult blood test, colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy, no widely accepted in vitro diagnostic methods have been available. To identify potential peptide biomarkers for CRC, serum samples from a discovery cohort (100 CRC patients and 100 healthy controls) and an independent validation cohort (91 CRC patients and 91 healthy controls) were collected. Peptides were fractionated by weak cation exchange magnetic beads (MB-WCX) and analysed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Five peptides (peaks at m/z 1895.3, 2020.9, 2080.7, 2656.8 and 3238.5) were identified as candidate biomarkers for CRC. A diagnostic panel based on the five peptides can discriminate CRC patients from healthy controls, with an accuracy of 91.8%, sensitivity of 95.6%, and specificity of 87.9% in the validation cohort. Peptide peaks at m/z 1895.3, 2020.9 and 3238.5 were identified as the partial sequences of complement component 4 (C4), complement component 3 (C3) and fibrinogen α chain (FGA), respectively. This study potentiated peptidomic analysis as a promising in vitro diagnostic tool for diagnosis of CRC. The identified peptides suggest the involvement of the C3, C4 and FGA in CRC pathogenesis.

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