Increased AAA-TOB3 correlates with lymph node metastasis and advanced stage of lung adenocarcinoma



This study was to investigate the differential mitochondrial protein expressions in human lung adenocarcinoma and provide preliminary data for further exploration of the carcinogenic mechanism.


Total proteins of A549 and 16HBE mitochondria were extracted through 2D polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2-DE). The differential mitochondria proteins were identified by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and were further confirmed by Western blot, immunoelectron microscopy and immunohistochemistry (IHC) in A549 cells as well as lung adenocarcinoma tissues.


A total of 41 differentially expressed protein spots were found in A549 mitochondria. Of them, 15 proteins were highly expressed and 26 proteins were lowly expressed in the mitochondria of A549 (by more than 1.5 times). Among the 15 more highly expressed proteins, AAA-TOB3 (by more than 3 times) was highly expressed in the mitochondria of A549 compared with the 16HBE, by LC-MS/MS identification. High electron density and clear circular colloidal gold-marked AAA-TOB3 particles were observed in the A549 cells via immunoelectron microscopy. Besides, AAA-TOB3 was confirmed to be elevated in lung adenocarcinoma by Western blot and IHC. Moreover, increased AAA-TOB3 correlated with lymph node metastasis and advanced stage of lung adenocarcinoma (p<0.05).


AAA-TOB3 was highly expressed in lung adenocarcinoma, and the up-regulation of AAA-TOB3 correlated with lymph node metastasis and advanced stage of lung adenocarcinoma, which suggested that it could serve as a potential molecular marker for lung adenocarcinoma.

Int J Biol Markers 2017; 32(3): e325 - e332




Yanfeng Liu, Lina Bu, Wei Li, Wei Wu, Shengyu Wang, Xin Diao, Jing Zhou, Guoan Chen, Shuanying Yang

Article History


Financial support: This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 81172234), the Scientific Research Fund of the Department of Education of Shaanxi Province, China (No. 11JK0721) and the Natural Science Foundation of Shannxi Province, China (No. 2015JM8480).
Conflict of interest: The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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  •  Department of Respiratory Medicine, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an - PR China
  •  Department of Respiratory Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Medical University, Xi’an - China
  •  Department of Thoracic Surgery, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan - USA

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