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A comparative proteomic study identified calreticulin and prohibitin up-regulated in adrenocortical carcinomas

Ming-shan Yang1*, Huan-sheng Wang1, Bao-sheng Wang1, Wan-hu Li1, Zeng-fen Pang1, Ben-kui Zou1, Xin Zhang1, Xue-tao Shi1, Dian-bin Mu2, De-xian Zhang2, Yong-sheng Gao2, Xiao-wen Sun3 and Shu-jie Xia3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Urology, Shandong Tumor Hospital, 440 Jiyan Road, Jinan 250117, Shandong Province, China

2 Department of Pathology, Shandong Tumor Hospital, Jinan, Shandong 250117, China

3 Department of Urology, Shanghai First Hospital, Shanghai 10080, China

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Diagnostic Pathology 2013, 8:58  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-8-58

Published: 15 April 2013



Identifying novel tumor biomarkers to develop more effective diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for patients with ACC is urgently needed. The aim of the study was to compare the proteomic profiles between adrenocortical carcinomas (ACC) and normal adrenocortical tissues in order to identify novel potential biomarkers for ACC.


The protein samples from 12 ACC tissues and their paired adjacent normal adrenocortical tissues were profiled with two-dimensional electrophoresis; and differentially expressed proteins were identified by mass spectrometry. Expression patterns of three differently expressed proteins calreticulin, prohibitin and HSP60 in ACC, adrenocortical adenomas (ACA) and normal adrenocortical tissues were further validated by immunohistochemistry.


In our proteomic study, we identified 20 up-regulated and 9 down-regulated proteins in ACC tissues compared with paired normal controls. Most of the up-regulated proteins were focused in protein binding and oxidoreductase activity in Gene Ontology (GO) molecular function classification. By immunohistochemistry, two biomarkers calreticulin and prohibitin were validated to be overexpressed in ACC compared with adrenocortical adenomas (ACA) and normal tissues, but also calreticulin overexpression was significantly associated with tumor stages of ACC.


For the first time, calreticulin and prohibitin were identified to be novel candidate biomarkers for ACC, and their roles during ACC carcinogenesis and clinical significance deserves further investigation.

Virtual slides

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Adrenocortical carcinomas; Proteomics; Tumor marker; Calreticulin; Prohibitin