The lack of primary lymphoid tissue within the central nervous system (CNS) confounds our understanding of the pathogenesis of primary CNS lymphomas (PCNSLs). Comparing the protein expression of PCNSLs and sporadic systemic lymphomas (SSLs) provides a useful strategy for identifying a molecular signature that characterizes disease-associated features and provides information regarding tumor initiation and progression.
Seven diffuse large B-cell PCNSLs were selected to undergo 2D gel electrophoresis, and profiled proteomes from these PCNSLs were compared with those from 7 diffuse large B-cell SSLs. Distinguishing proteins were sequenced using mass spectrometry.
Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis identified an average of 706 proteins from each specimen. Computerized gel analysis and manual reconfirmation revealed a 96% similarity in the proteomes of PCNSLs and SSLs. Comparative analysis identified 9 proteins significantly overexpressed (p < 0.05) and 16 proteins downregulated in PCNSLs. The proteomic findings were further validated using Western blot and immunohistochemical staining.
The similarities in proteomic patterns between PCNSLs and SSLs suggest that these tumor types share structural similarities, acquired during differentiation. The ultimate fate of lymphomatous cells (CNS vs systemic) may be related to differentially expressed proteins, which function in homing and host processing. Elucidating the roles of these differentially expressed proteins will prove valuable in understanding the pathogenesis of PCNSL.