Author(s): Kim P, Liu X, Lee T, Liu L, Barham R,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The clinical benefits associated with targeted oncology agents are generally limited to subsets of patients. Even with favorable biomarker profiles, many patients do not respond or acquire resistance. Existing technologies are ineffective for treatment monitoring as they provide only static and limited information and require substantial amounts of tissue. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop methods that can profile potential therapeutic targets with limited clinical specimens during the course of treatment. METHODS: We have developed a novel proteomics-based assay, Collaborative Enzyme Enhanced Reactive-immunoassay (CEER) that can be used for analyzing clinical samples. CEER utilizes the formation of unique immuno-complex between capture-antibodies and two additional detector-Abs on a microarray surface. One of the detector-Abs is conjugated to glucose oxidase (GO), and the other is conjugated to Horse Radish Peroxidase (HRP). Target detection requires the presence of both detector-Abs because the enzyme channeling event between GO and HRP will not occur unless both Abs are in close proximity. RESULTS: CEER was able to detect single-cell level expression and phosphorylation of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 1 (HER1) in breast cancer (BCa) systems. The shift in phosphorylation profiles of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and other signal transduction proteins upon differential ligand stimulation further demonstrated extreme assay specificity in a multiplexed array format. HER2 analysis by CEER in 227 BCa tissues showed superior accuracy when compared to the outcome from immunohistochemistry (IHC) (83\% vs. 96\%). A significant incidence of HER2 status alteration with recurrent disease was observed via circulating tumor cell (CTC) analysis, suggesting an evolving and dynamic disease progression. HER2-positive CTCs were found in 41\% (7/17) while CTCs with significant HER2-activation without apparent over-expression were found in 18\% (3/17) of relapsed BCa patients with HER2-negative primary tumors. The apparent 'HER2 status conversion' observed in recurrent BCa may have significant implications on understanding breast cancer metastasis and associated therapeutic development. CONCLUSION: CEER can be multiplexed to analyze pathway proteins in a comprehensive manner with extreme specificity and sensitivity. This format is ideal for analyzing clinical samples with limited availability.
This article was published in Proteome Sci
and referenced in Journal of Earth Science & Climatic Change