Identification of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for colorectal cancer

Secretome can be defined as the total set of proteins released from normal and/or cancer cells into the surrounding microenvironment. In eukaryotic cells, proteins can be secreted by classical and non-classical secretory pathways. It is estimated that about 10-15% of the proteins encoded by the human genome can be secreted by the well characterised classical secretory pathway.

The secretome reflects the functionality of the cancer cells and includes proteins such as growth factors, extracellular matrix-degrading enzymes, cell motility factors, angiogenic factors; ectodomain shed receptors and immunoregulatory cytokines participating in various physiological processes such as immune defense and cell signalling. Such bioactive molecules play critical roles in pathological processes including cancer cell differentiation, invasion, metastasis and sustained angiogenesis by regulating cell-cell adhesion and extracellular matrix interactions. Our group explores colorectal cancer cell line secretome to identify secreted proteins that can be used as biomarkers for diagnostic and prognostic purposes.