Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death for women in the United States, and early detection could offer patients the opportunity to receive early intervention. The current methods of diagnosis rely on mammograms and have relatively high rates of false positivity, causing anxiety in patients. We sought to identify protein markers in saliva and serum for early detection of breast cancer. A rigorous analysis was performed for individual saliva and serum samples from women without breast disease, and women diagnosed with benign or malignant breast disease, using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) technique, and employing a random effects model. A total of 591 and 371 proteins were identified in saliva and serum samples from the same individuals, respectively. The differentially expressed proteins were mainly involved in exocytosis, secretion, immune response, neutrophil-mediated immunity and cytokine-mediated signaling pathway. Using a network biology approach, significantly expressed proteins in both biological fluids were evaluated for protein–protein interaction networks and further analyzed for these being potential biomarkers in breast cancer diagnosis and prognosis. Our systems approach illustrates a feasible platform for investigating the responsive proteomic profile in benign and malignant breast disease using saliva and serum from the same women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4164
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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