Comparative proteomics of human embryonic stem cells and embryonal carcinoma cells

Raghothama Chaerkady, Candace L. Kerr, Kumaran Kandasamy, Arivusudar Marimuthu, John D. Gearhart, Akhilesh Pandey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Pluripotent human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) can be differentiated in vitro into a variety of cells which hold promise for transplantation therapy. Human embryonal carcinoma cells (ECCs), stem cells of human teratocarcinomas, are considered a close but malignant counterpart to human ESCs. In this study, a comprehensive quantitative proteomic analysis of ESCs and ECCs was carried out using the iTRAQ method. Using two-dimensional LC and MS/M S analyses, we identified and quantitated ∼1800 proteins. Among these are proteins associated with pluripotency and development as well as tight junction signaling and TGFß receptor pathway. Nearly ∼200 proteins exhibit more than twofold difference in abundance between ESCs and ECCs. Examples of early developmental markers high in ESCs include β-galactoside-binding lectin, undifferentiated embryonic cell transcription factor-1, DNA cytosine methyltransferase 3β isoform-B, melanoma antigen family-A4, and interferon-induced transmembrane protein-1. In contrast, CD99-antigen (CD99), growth differentiation factor-3, cellular retinoic acid binding protein-2, and developmental pluripotency associated-4 were among the highly expressed proteins in ECCs. Several proteins that were highly expressed in ECCs such as heat shock 27kDa protein-1, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase-1, nuclear factor of K light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor like-2, and S100 calcium-binding protein-A4 have also been attributed to malignancy in other systems. Importantly, immunocytochemistry was used to validate the proteomic analyses for a subset of the proteins. In summary, this is the first large-scale quantitative proteomic study of human ESCs and ECCs, which provides critical information about the regulators of these two closely related, but developmentally distinct, stem cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1359-1373
Number of pages15
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell biology
  • Embryonal carcinoma cell
  • Embryonic stem cell
  • Itraq
  • MS
  • Quantitative proteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry


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