IPA analysis of cervicovaginal fluid from precancerous women points to the presence of biomarkers for the precancerous state of cervical carcinoma
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
, p. 426-450
University of Antwerp
Despite large gaps in our knowledge on the intracellular mechanism leading to cervical cancer, the pathways induced by oncogenic high-risk Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and those finally causing cervical cancer are increasingly being unraveled. Assuming that precancerous tissue is recognized and lysed by the immune systemwhich is in many cases incomplete because of the counteraction by the HPV viruswe hypothesize that several intracellular factors, involved in induction and development of precancerous lesions and/or cervical cancer are being released into the cervicovaginal fluid (CVF). These factors can then be seen as markers for the precancerous state, and when they persist they are indicative for an increased risk for cervical carcinoma. In a previous study, we analyzed the proteomic profiles of six CVF samples from women with different stages of precancerous lesions and compared these with the CVF proteomes from healthy women. Here, we extend these observations by investigating these proteomes by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). We show that proteins in CVF from precancerous women are clearly more involved in pathways that make up the hallmarks of cancer, as compared to CVF proteins from healthy persons. Moreover, after literature search, proteins classified by IPA in the cancer category, were more correlated with cervical cancer when they originated from CVF from precancerous women. Many of these proteins formed a network with angiotensin II as central mediator. The search for network biomarkers, rather than single biomarkers, could drastically increase specificity, sensitivity and prognostic value of cervical cancer diagnosis, making use of an easy to handle fluid, the CVF.