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Cancer biomarkers in atherosclerotic plaque: Evidenced from structural and proteomic analyses

Fasehee, Hamidreza, Fakhraee, Mahsa, Davoudi, Saeed, Vali, Hojatollah, Faghihi, Shahab
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2019 v.509 no.3 pp. 687-693
atherogenesis, atherosclerosis, biomarkers, calcium, cathepsin D, cholesterol, coronary vessels, humans, matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization mass spectrometry, mortality, myocytes, neoplasms, patients, protein composition, proteins, proteomics, smooth muscle, surgery, transmission electron microscopy, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis
Atherosclerosis and cancer are the leading causes of mortality around the world that share common pathogenic pathways. The aim of this study is the investigation of the protein profile of atherosclerotic plaque in order to find similar biomarker between cancer and atherosclerosis. The small pieces of human coronary artery containing advanced atherosclerotic plaque is obtained from patients during bypass surgery. Structural characterization of type V plaque, including fibrous connective tissue, necrotic lipid core, cholesterol clefts and calcium deposits are performed using high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM). The protein profile of atherosclerosis plaque is also analyzed using 2-dimensional electrophoresis and matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF). TEM analysis shows that vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) exhibit different and uncommon morphologies in atherosclerotic plaque which is correlated to the proliferative state of the cells. The proteomics analysis reveals proteins related to atherosclerosis formation including Mimecan, Ras Suppressor Protein-1 (RSUP-1) and Cathepsin D which identified as biomarker of cancerous tumors. The expression of Mimecan and RSUP-1 is down-regulated in atherosclerotic plaque while the expression of Cathepsin D is up-regulated. These data support that atherosclerotic plaque presents some degree of tumorgenesis with the significant activity of VSMCs as the key player in atherogenesis.