Proteomic Analysis of Colorectal Cancer: Prefractionation Strategies Using two-Dimensional Free-Flow Electrophoresis Academic Article uri icon


  • This review deals with the application of a new prefractionation tool, free-flow electrophoresis (FFE), for proteomic analysis of colorectal cancer (CRC). CRC is a leading cause of cancer death in the Western world. Early detection is the single most important factor influencing outcome of CRC patients. If identified while the disease is still localized, CRC is treatable. To improve outcomes for CRC patients there is a pressing need to identify biomarkers for early detection (diagnostic markers), prognosis (prognostic indicators), tumour responses (predictive markers) and disease recurrence (monitoring markers). Despite recent advances in the use of genomic analysis for risk assessment, in the area of biomarker identification genomic methods alone have yet to produce reliable candidate markers for CRC. For this reason, attention is being directed towards proteomics as a complementary analytical tool for biomarker identification. Here we describe a proteomics separation tool, which uses a combination of continuous FFE, a liquid-based isoelectric focusing technique, in the first dimension, followed by rapid reversed-phase HPLC (1–6 min/analysis) in the second dimension. We have optimized imaging software to present the FFE/RP-HPLC data in a virtual 2D gel-like format. The advantage of this liquid based fractionation system over traditional gel-based fractionation systems is the ability to fractionate large quantity protein samples. Unlike 2D gels, the method is applicable to both high-Mrproteins and small peptides, which are difficult to separate, and in the case of peptides, are not retained in standard 2D gels.

publication date

  • 2005