The human protein atlas blog

The cancer proteome

Cancer Immunocytochemistry Proteome

Tumor protein p53 in colorectal cancer

Cancer can be defined as a common heterogeneous and potentially deadly disease that affects approximately 1/3 of the human population. The common denominator for cancer is the development of an uncontrolled growth of cells that eventually leads to multiple organ failure and death.

The cancer proteome is based on genes that are implicated in cancer. Expression of these genes in normal cells contributes to normal growth, survival and function, whereas dysregulated expression, including overexpression, loss of expression or expression of a defect protein in cancer cells contributes to ungoverned tumor growth.

A list of 528 genes strongly implicated in cancer has been defined through the cancer Gene Census, catalogue of somatic mutations in cancer (COSMIC). Analysis shows that 60 % of these genes are housekeeping and only a small number of the genes are enriched in a certain tissue of group of tissues. The large number of genes expressed in all tissues has implications for the treatment of cancer.

Protein profiling using immunohistochemistry allows for visualization of the distribution and relative abundance of proteins encoded by cancer genes in various tumor tissues. In the cancer proteome part of the Human Protein Atlas you can find examples of protein expression patterns in different forms of cancer and normal tissues.

The image show the distribution of the tumor suppressor protein p53 in colorectal cancer. Read more about its role in cancer here >>

Frida Henningson Johnson