Researchers at GIGA aim at identifying new protein markers of human glioma progression. For this purpose, they used glial tumors generated orthotopically with T98G and U373 human glioma cells in nude mice. This setup allowed also to discriminate the protein origin, namely, human (tumor) or mouse (host). Extracellular and membrane proteins were selectively purified using biotinylation followed by streptavidin affinity chromatography. Isolated proteins were digested and then identified and quantified employing 2D-nano-HPLC-MS/MS analysis. Following extensive validation, the results highlighted a repertoire of known and novel proteins in the context of human glioma. One of these was sparc-like protein 1 (SPRL1 [gene name: SPARCL1]).

SPRL1 overexpression in brain tumors of xenografted animals as well as in a large collection of human gliomas of different grades was confirmed by validation studies employing Western blot and immunohistochemistry.

Importantly, the expression pattern of SPRL1 correlated well with the progression stage of human glioma.

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