The proteins of extracellular vesicles (EVs) that originate from tumors reflect the producer cells’ proteomes and can be detected in biological fluids. Thus, EVs provide proteomic signatures that are of great interest for screening and predictive cancer diagnostics. By applying targeted mass spectrometry with stable isotope-labeled peptide standards, we assessed the levels of 28 EV-associated proteins, including the conventional exosome markers CD9, CD63, CD81, CD82, and HSPA8, in vesicles derived from the lung cancer cell lines NCI-H23 and A549. Furthermore, we evaluated the detectability of these proteins and their abundance in plasma samples from 34 lung cancer patients and 23 healthy volunteers. The abundance of TLN1, TUBA4A, HSPA8, ITGB3, TSG101, and PACSIN2 in the plasma of lung cancer patients was measured using targeted mass spectrometry and compared to that in plasma from healthy volunteers. The most diagnostically potent markers were TLN1 (AUC, 0.95), TUBA4A (AUC, 0.91), and HSPA8 (AUC, 0.88). The obtained EV proteomic signature allowed us to distinguish between the lung adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma histological types. The proteomic cargo of the extracellular vesicles represents a promising source of potential biomarkers.
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