Publications & Posters

Extensive Three-Dimensional Intratumor Proteomic Heterogeneity Revealed by Multiregion Sampling in High-Grade Serous Ovarian Tumor Specimens

iScience | July 23, 2021

Hunt AL, Bateman NW, Barakat W, Makohon-Moore S, Hood BL, Conrads KA, Zhou M, Calvert V, Pierobon M, Loffredo J, Litzi TJ, Oliver J, Mitchell D, Gist G, Rojas C, Blanton B, Robinson EL, Odunsi K, Sood AK, Casablanca Y, Darcy KM, Shriver CD, Petricoin EF, Rao UNM, Maxwell GL and Conrads TP

iScience. 2021:102757



Enriched tumor epithelium, tumor-associated stroma, and whole tissue were collected by laser microdissection from thin sections across spatially separated levels of ten high-grade serous ovarian carcinomas (HGSOCs) and analyzed by mass spectrometry, reverse phase protein arrays, and RNA sequencing. Unsupervised analyses of protein abundance data revealed independent clustering of an enriched stroma and enriched tumor epithelium, with whole tumor tissue clustering driven by overall tumor “purity.” Comparing these data to previously defined prognostic HGSOC molecular subtypes revealed protein and transcript expression from tumor epithelium correlated with the differentiated subtype, whereas stromal proteins (and transcripts) correlated with the mesenchymal subtype. Protein and transcript abundance in the tumor epithelium and stroma exhibited decreased correlation in samples collected just hundreds of microns apart. These data reveal substantial tumor microenvironment protein heterogeneity that directly bears on prognostic signatures, biomarker discovery, and cancer pathophysiology and underscore the need to enrich cellular subpopulations for expression profiling.