Quantitative Proteomic Analysis of Cellular Resistance to the Nanoparticle Abraxane

Abraxane, an FDA-approved albumin-bound nanoparticle (NP) form of paclitaxel (PTX) to treat breast cancer and nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC), has been demonstrated to be more effective than the original Taxol, the single molecule form. We have established a cell line from NSCLC A549 cells to be resistant to Abraxane. To further understand the molecular mechanisms involved in the NP drug resistance, global protein expression profiles of Abraxane sensitive (A549) and resistant cells (A549/Abr), along with the treatment of Abraxane, have been obtained by a quantitative proteomic approach. The most significantly differentially expressed proteins are associated with lipid metabolism, cell cycle, cytoskeleton, apoptosis pathways and processes, suggesting several mechanisms are working synergistically in A549 Abraxane-resistant cells. Overexpression of proteins in the lipid metabolism processes, such as E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase RNF139 (RNF139) and Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA synthase (HMGCS1), have not been reported previously in the study of paclitaxel resistance, suggesting possibly different mechanism between nanoparticle and single molecular drug resistance. In particular, RNF139 is one of the most up-regulated proteins in A549 Abraxane-resistant cell line, but remains no change when the resistant cells were further treated with Abraxane and down-regulated in the sensitive cells after 4 h treatment of Abraxane. This study shows the use of a proteomic strategy to understand the unique response of drug resistant cells to a nanoparticle therapeutic.