The challenge of classifying metastatic cell properties by molecular profiling exemplified with cutaneous melanoma cells and their cerebral metastasis from patient derived mouse xenografts

Benjamin Neuditschko, Lukas Janker, Laura Niederstaetter, Julia Brunmair, Katharina Krivanek, Sivan Izraely, Orit Sagi-Assif, Tsipi Meshel, Bernhard K. Keppler, Giorgia Del Favero, Isaac P. Witz, Christopher Gerner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The prediction of metastatic properties from molecular analyses still poses a major challenge. Here we aimed at the classification of metastasis-related cell properties by proteome profiling making use of cutaneous and brain-metastasizing variants from single melanomas sharing the same genetic ancestry. Previous experiments demonstrated that cultured cells derived from these xenografted variants maintain a stable phenotype associated with a differential metastatic behavior: The brain metastasizing variants produce more spontaneous micro-metastases than the corresponding cutaneous variants. Four corresponding pairs of cutaneous and metastatic cells were obtained from four individual patients, resulting in eight cell-lines presently investigated. Label free proteome profiling revealed significant differences between corresponding pairs of cutaneous and cerebellar metastases from the same patient. Indeed, each brain metastasizing variant expressed several apparently metastasis-associated proteomic alterations as compared with the corresponding cutaneous variant. Among the differentially expressed proteins we identified cell adhesion molecules, immune regulators, epithelial to mesenchymal transition markers, stem cell markers, redox regulators and cytokines. Similar results were observed regarding eicosanoids, considered relevant for metastasis, such as PGE2 and 12-HETE. Multiparametric morphological analysis of cells also revealed no characteristic alterations associated with the cutaneous and brain metastasis variants. However, no correct classification regarding metastatic potential was yet possible with the present data. We thus concluded that molecular profiling is able to classify cells according to known functional categories but is not yet able to predict relevant cell properties emerging from networks consisting of many interconnected molecules. The presently observed broad diversity of molecular patterns, irrespective of restricting to one tumor type and two main classes of metastasis, highlights the important need to develop meta-analysis strategies to predict cell properties from molecular profiling data. Such base knowledge will greatly support future individualized precision medicine approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)478-489
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

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