Concordant release of glycolysis proteins into the plasma preceding a diagnosis of ER+ breast cancer.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Cancer research (2012)


2012, Center-Authored Paper, Human Biology Division, Mar 2012, March 2012, Proteomics Core Facility, Public Health Sciences Division, Shared Resources


Although the identification of peripheral blood biomarkers would enhance early detection strategies for breast cancer, the discovery of protein markers has been challenging. In this study, we sought to identify coordinated changes in plasma proteins associated with breast cancer based on large scale quantitative mass spectrometry. We analyzed plasma samples collected up to 74 weeks prior to diagnosis from 420 ER+ cases and matched controls enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative cohort. A gene set enrichment analysis was applied to 467 quantified proteins linking their corresponding genes to particular biological pathways. Based upon differences in the concentration of individual proteins, glycolysis pathway proteins exhibited a statistically significant difference between cases and controls. In particular, the enrichment was observed among cases in which blood was drawn closer to diagnosis (effect size for the 0-38 weeks pre-diagnostic group: 1.91; p-value:8.3E-05). Analysis of plasmas collected at the time of diagnosis from an independent set of cases and controls confirmed upregulated levels of glycolysis proteins among cases relative to controls. Together, our findings indicate that the concomitant release of glycolysis proteins into the plasma is a pathophysiological event that precedes a diagnosis of ER+ breast cancer.