Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is characterized by a relative paucity of cancer cells that are surrounded by an abundance of non-tumor cells and extracellular matrix, known as stroma. The interaction between stroma and cancer cells contributes to poor outcome, but how proteins from these individual compartments drive aggressive tumor behavior is not known. Here, we report the proteomic analysis of laser-capture microdissected (LCM) PDAC samples. We isolated stroma, tumor, and bulk samples from a cohort with long- and short-term survivors. Compartment-specific proteins were measured by mass spectrometry, yielding the largest PDAC proteome landscape to date. These analyses revealed that in bulk analysis, tumor-derived proteins were typically masked and that LCM was required to reveal biology and novel prognostic markers. We validated tumor CALB2 and stromal COL11A1 expression as compartment-specific prognostic markers. We identified and functionally addressed the contributions of the tumor cell receptor EPHA2 to tumor cell viability and motility, underscoring the value of compartment-specific protein analysis in PDAC.

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PubMed