Microdialysis combined with proteomics for protein identification in breast tumor microenvironment in vivo

Baogang J. Xu, Wenwei Yan, Bojana Jovanovic, Aubie K. Shaw, Qi A. An, Jimmy Eng, Anna Chytil, Andrew J. Link, Harold L. Moses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Tumor microenvironment constitutes a reservoir for proteins released from tumor cells and the host, which can contribute significantly to tumor growth and invasion. This study aims to apply a method of combining in vivo microdialysis and proteomics to identify proteins in mammary tumor interstitial fluids, a major component of tumor microenvironment. In vivo microdialysis was performed in polyomavirus middle T antigen (PyVmT) transgenic mouse mammary tumors and age-matched control wild-type mammary glands. Over four hundred proteins were identified from the microdialysis perfusates, using the Multidimensional Protein Identification Technology. Osteopontin (OPN) is one of the proteins overexpressed in breast tumor perfusates, as confirmed with immunoassays. OPN was also found to be present in tumor-associated stroma in both PyVmT and human breast tumors, using immunohistochemistry. Specifically, fibroblasts were further shown to express OPN at both mRNA and protein levels. In vitro assays showed that OPN can stimulate PyVmT breast carcinoma cell proliferation and migration. Finally, the expression of OPN was significantly higher in the peripheral blood of mice bearing breast tumors, compared to wild-type mice. Overall, microdialysis combined with proteomics is a unique technique for identifying proteins in a tumor microenvironment in vivo. Mammary fibroblasts can secrete OPN, and its overexpression in mammary tumor microenvironment may contribute significantly to mammary tumor progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-71
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Microenvironment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgement This work was supported by the NCI Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies (R21 CA128695), the American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant (IRG-58-009-48), the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (P30 CA068485); the Vanderbilt University Tumor Microenvironment Network (1U54 CA126505), Vanderbilt Breast Cancer SPORE (P50 CA098131), University of Washington’s Proteomics Resource (UWPR95794), and the Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation.


  • Fibroblasts
  • Microdialysis
  • Osteopontin
  • Proteomics
  • Tumor microenvironment


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