BACKGROUND: Meningioma is the most frequent primary intracranial tumour. Surgical resection remains the main therapeutic option as pharmacological intervention is hampered by poor knowledge of their proteomic signature. There is an urgent need to identify new therapeutic targets and biomarkers of meningioma. METHODS: We performed proteomic profiling of grade I, II and III frozen meningioma specimens and three normal healthy human meninges using LC-MS/MS to analyse global proteins, enriched phosphoproteins and phosphopeptides. Differential expression and functional annotation of proteins was completed using Perseus, IPA® and DAVID. We validated differential expression of proteins and phosphoproteins by Western blot on a meningioma validation set and by immunohistochemistry. FINDINGS: We quantified 3888 proteins and 3074 phosphoproteins across all meningioma grades and normal meninges. Bioinformatics analysis revealed commonly upregulated proteins and phosphoproteins to be enriched in Gene Ontology terms associated with RNA metabolism. Validation studies confirmed significant overexpression of proteins such as EGFR and CKAP4 across all grades, as well as the aberrant activation of the downstream PI3K/AKT pathway, which seems differential between grades. Further, we validated upregulation of the total and activated phosphorylated form of the NIMA-related kinase, NEK9, involved in mitotic progression. Novel proteins identified and validated in meningioma included the nuclear proto-oncogene SET, the splicing factor SF2/ASF and the higher-grade specific protein, HK2, involved in cellular metabolism. INTERPRETATION: Overall, we generated a proteomic thesaurus of meningiomas for the identification of potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets. FUND: This study was supported by Brain Tumour Research.



Publication Date


Publication Title


Embargo Period


Organisational Unit

School of Biomedical Sciences


Differential expression, Grade-specific, Meningioma, Phosphoproteins, Proteomics, RNA metabolism