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<jats:p> Dissemination of primary tumors to distant anatomical sites has a substantial negative impact on patient prognosis. The liver is a common site for metastases from colorectal cancer, and patients with hepatic metastases have generally much shorter survival, raising a need to develop and implement novel strategies for targeting metastatic disease. The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a meshwork of highly crosslinked, insoluble high-molecular-mass proteins maintaining tissue integrity and establishing cell–cell interactions. Emerging evidence identifies the importance of the ECM in cancer cell migration, invasion, intravasation, and metastasis. Here, we isolated the ECM from MC38 mouse liver metastases using our optimized method of mild detergent solubilization followed by biochemical enrichment. The matrices were subjected to label-free quantitative mass spectrometry analysis, revealing proteins highly abundant in the metastatic matrisome. The resulting list of proteins upregulated in the ECM significantly predicted survival in patients with colorectal cancer but not other cancers with strong involvement of the ECM component. One of the proteins upregulated in liver metastatic ECM, annexin A1, was not previously studied in the context of cancer-associated matrisome. Here, we show that annexin A1 was markedly upregulated in colon cancer cell lines compared with cancer cells of other origin and also over-represented in human primary colorectal lesions, as well as hepatic metastases, compared with their adjacent healthy tissue counterparts. In conclusion, our study provides a comprehensive ECM characterization of MC38 experimental liver metastases and proposes annexin A1 as a putative target for this disease. </jats:p><jats:p> NEW &amp; NOTEWORTHY Here, the authors provide an extensive proteomics characterization of murine colorectal cancer liver metastasis matrisome (the ensemble of all extracellular matrix molecules). The findings presented in this study may enable identification of therapeutic targets or biomarkers of hepatic metastases. </jats:p>

Original publication




Journal article


American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology


American Physiological Society

Publication Date





G625 - G639