Two University of Illinois Cancer Center members, Alexandra Naba, PhD, and Yu Gao, PhD, created the database MatrisomeDB, which was released in 2020, to help non-specialists reuse proteomic datasets of the extracellular matrix (ECM), the proteins that make up the scaffold organizing cells, tissues and organs.
Naba, part of the Cancer Center’s Cancer Biology research program, and Gao, part of the Translational Oncology research program, authored a new article in the journal Nucleic Acids Research that reports on the expansion of MatrisomeDB with the inclusion of 25 new studies on the ECM of 24 new tissues, including two new cancer types (pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and gastric carcinoma).
“With this new deployment, we more than doubled the size of MatrisomeDB, expanding its content to nearly 40 different broad tissue types and including new types of samples such as metastases arising from breast or colorectal cancers growing in different organs, aging tissues, and organoids. Anticipating that mass-spectrometry-based proteomics will remain the state-of-the-art approach to profile, in an unbiased manner, the composition of tissues, we will plan a future release to further expand the content of the database to tissues or diseases not represented yet,” the authors concluded.
Naba and Gao are the corresponding authors on the paper and the other authors also are researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago, including Clarissa Gomez, a senior and Undergraduate Research Assistant at UIC in the Naba lab who recently received a Cancer Federation, Inc scholarship from the Cancer Center. Naba and Gao received an inter-programmatic Pilot Project fund from the Cancer Center that served as a seed fund for their collaborative work on MatrisomeDB.