Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering 2021; 26(1): 55-62  
Identification of a Lung Cancer Biomarker Using a Cancer Cell Line and Screening of Olfactory Receptors for Biomarker Detection
Sang Won Cho, Hwi Jin Ko, and Tai Hyun Park
Sang Won Cho, Tai Hyun Park
School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
Hwi Jin Ko*, Tai Hyun Park*
Institute of Chemical Processes, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
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Received: April 29, 2020; Revised: June 11, 2020; Accepted: June 20, 2020; Published online: February 28, 2021.
© The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Several studies investigated the development of a non-invasive and early diagnostic method for cancer. Recently, the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) exhaled from cancer patients have been shown to act as a potential biomarker for cancer. However, the gas profile of breath is highly variable and not conducive to identification of biomarkers accurately. Accordingly, we identified a cancerspecific VOC as a biomarker using an in vitro cancer system in order to exclude the variables from patient condition. VOCs were collected from the headspace gas of lung cancer cell line (SK-MES) and normal lung cell line (MRC-5), followed by analysis using solid-phase microextraction (SPME)-GC/MS. As a result, 2-ethyl-1-hexanol was detected from headspace gas of SK-MES and decided as a potential biomarker for lung cancer. By screening human olfactory receptor libraries to detect a lung cancer biomarker, human olfactory receptor 4D11P (hOR4D11P) was identified as a receptor specific for 2-ethyl-1-hexanol and expressed heterologously in HEK293 cells. Additionally, we generated nanovesicles containing hOR4D11P from HEK293 cells and confirmed the expression and functionality of hOR4D11P in nanovesicles.
Keywords: volatile organic compound, lung cancer, human olfactory receptor, solid-phase microextraction, GC/MS

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