Lung cancer is one of the most common and most deadly forms of cancer. Smoking is by far the most important risk factor, however, occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals, dusts or fibers also presents a serious lung cancer risk. Biological markers of exposure and/or cancer-related outcomes need to be identified and integrated into epidemiological studies in order to identify people at risk and/or aid in early diagnosis. It is known that proto-oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes are involved in cell growth and differentiation and that their altered structure and/or expression may be involved in carcinogenesis. The protein products of these genes often reside in body fluids, such as serum and urine. Since urine sampling is least invasive, it is particularly attractive for biological monitoring to ensure worker cooperation. We have analyzed serum and urine samples from 25 lung cancer patients as well as urine samples from age matched controls to detect differentially expressed genes related to lung cancer risk. Serum (500 ug) or urine (250 ug) samples were separated on 5-17% polyacrylamide gradient gels and electroblotted onto Immobilon-P transfer membranes. The membranes were cut into individual strips that were each probed with an antibody against one of the following proteins: p53, RAS, FOS, JUN, SIS, FES, TGFa, TGFB, and erbB. Following colorimetric detection, the intensities of the target bands were measured using the Bio Image Whole Band Analyzer. While we have found no correlation between the presence of any of the native proteins in question and lung cancer, preliminary results indicate that the presence of a 42 kDa RAS-related protein in urine samples may correlate with lung cancer and smoking status.
Oncogenesis; Oncogenic agents; Oncogenicity; Proteins; Humans; Lung cancer; Pulmonary system disorders; Respiratory system disorders; Cancer; Occupational exposure; Occupational hazards; Hazardous materials; Chemical properties; Risk factors; Risk analysis; Epidemiology; Cell growth; Cell differentiation; Carcinogenesis; Carcinogenicity; Carcinogens; Biological monitoring; Urinalysis; Smoking