Purpose: Recent evidence shows that nitric oxide (NO) may exhibit both pro-cancer and anti-cancer activities. The present study aimed to determine the differentially expressed proteins in NO-treated NIH/3T3 fibroblasts in order to investigate whether NO induces proteins with pro-cancer or anti-cancer effects. Materials and Methods: The cells were treated with 300 μM of an NO donor 3,3-bis-(aminoethyl)-1-hydroxy-2-oxo-1-triazene (NOC-18) for 12 h. The changed protein patterns, which were separated by two-dimensional electrophoresis using pH gradients of 4‒7, were conclusively identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) analysis of the peptide digests. Results: Seventeen differentially expressed proteins were identified in NOC-18-treated cells. Nine proteins [vinculin protein, keratin 19, ubiquitous tropomodulin, F-actin capping protein (α1 subunit), tropomyosin 3, 26S proteasome-associated pad1 homolog, T-complex protein 1 (ε subunit) NG-dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase, and heat shock protein 90] were increased and eight proteins (heat shock protein 70, glucosidase II, lamin B1, calreticulin, nucleophosmin 1, microtubule-associated protein retinitis pigmentosa/end binding family member 1, 150 kD oxygen-regulated protein precursor, and heat shock 70-related protein albino or pale green 2) were decreased by NOC-18 in the cells. Thirteen proteins are related to the suppression of cancer cell proliferation, invasion, and metastasis while two proteins (heat shock protein 90 and NG-dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase) are related to carcinogenesis. The functions of 150 kD oxygen-regulated protein precursor and T-complex protein 1 (ε subunit) are unknown in relation to carcinogenesis. Conclusion: Most proteins differentially expressed by NOC-18 are involved in inhibiting cancer development.
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