Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer remains one of the common causes of morbidity and mortality. A high number of cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage, leading to a poor survival rate. This is primarily attributed to the lack of reliable diagnostic biomarkers and limited treatment options. Therefore, more sensitive, specific biomarkers and curative treatments are desirable. Functional proteomics as a research area in the proteomic field aims to elucidate the biological function of unknown proteins and unravel the cellular mechanisms at the molecular level. Phosphoproteomic and glycoproteomic studies have emerged as two efficient functional proteomics approaches used to identify diagnostic biomarkers, therapeutic targets, the molecular basis of disease and mechanisms underlying drug resistance in GI cancers. In this review, we present an overview on how functional proteomics may contribute to the understanding of GI cancers, namely colorectal, gastric, hepatocellular carcinoma and pancreatic cancers. Moreover, we have summarized recent methodological developments in phosphoproteomics and glycoproteomics for GI cancer studies.
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- Colorectal cancer
- Gastric cancer
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
- Pancreatic cancer