Profiling of the secretome of human cancer cells: preparation of supernatant for proteomic analysis

Linda Joanne Rogers, Natalka Suchowerska, Alamgir Khan, Veronika Polaskova, David Robert Mckenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Secretomic analysis requires removal of serum proteins from cell-culture media. We evaluate the proteins washed from cells prepared in bovine serum-supplemented medium. PBS and serum-free-medium (SFM) were the washing solutions. A Bradford assay was used for total protein concentration and a 1D gel and LC-MS/MS, to assign the protein to human or bovine origin. For both wash solutions, all bovine protein had been removed by the third wash, without compromising the number of living cells. Further washes reduced the number of living cells, especially when using PBS. Proteomic analysis of wash supernatant showed that SFM induced greater lysis of dead cells. Three washes were sufficient to minimize the effects on cell viability, while still removing serum proteins. Washing in SFM resulted in contamination of the wash supernatant with lysed dead cell proteins. Washed cells were incubated in SFM and exposed to ionizing radiation. Analysis of the supernatant showed an increase in human cytoplasmic, plasma membrane, and nuclear protein following irradiation. Secreted proteins were also detected, but in smaller quantities. The significance of these findings extend to in vitro studies of bystander phenomena, since the proteins of lysed dead cells may participate in driving bystander responses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2626-2633
Number of pages8
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014


  • Bystander
  • Cell washing
  • Proteomics
  • Radiation
  • Secretome


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