Navigation Links
MIT researchers offer glimpse of rare mutant cells
Date:7/21/2008

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- MIT biological engineers have developed a new imaging system that allows them to see cells that have undergone a specific mutation.

The work, which could help scientists understand how precancerous mutations arise, marks the first time researchers have been able to pinpoint the number and location of mutant cellscells with a particular mutationin intact tissue. In this case, the researchers worked with mouse pancreatic cells.

"Understanding where mutations come from is fundamental to understanding the origins of cancer," said Bevin Engelward, associate professor of biological engineering and member of MIT's Center for Environmental Health Sciences, and an author of a paper on the work appearing in this week's online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Peter So, professor of biological and mechanical engineering, Engelward and members of their laboratories developed technologies that made it possible to detect clusters of cells that appeared to be descended from the same progenitor cell.

Unexpectedly, more than 90 percent of the cells harboring mutations were within clusters. That offers evidence that the majority of mutations are inherited from another cell, rather than arising spontaneously in individual cells.

Since the type of mutation being studied (in this case a recombination event) occurs at a rate on par with other types of mutations, "it is as if we are peering in at the very general process of mutation formation, persistence and clonal expansion," said Engelward.

"We think this raises the possibility that mutations resulting from cell division are a tremendous factor in increasing the mutagenic load," she said.

The higher the mutagenic load, the more likely it is that cancer will develop.

Engelward and So started working together several years ago after a faculty retreat for MIT's newly formed Biological Engineering Division. So was developing a new type of microscopy, known as two-photon imaging, and the researchers wondered whether it could be used to locate and image rare types of cells.

The team genetically engineered a strain of mice in which DNA would fluoresce if a mutation occurred in a particular sequence. That allowed them to use So's newly developed high-resolution, high-throughput microscopy technique to detect individual cells that carry the mutation.

"The problem drove the development of a new imaging technology, which now can be used for lots of things," said Engelward.

Lead author of the paper is Dominika Wiktor-Brown, a postdoctoral associate in biological engineering. Other authors of the paper are Hyuk-Sang Kwon, a research affiliate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Yoon Sung Nam, a graduate student in biological engineering.

The work was truly a team effort between many people with very different areas of expertise, said Engelward. "The Department of Biological Engineering and the Center for Environmental Health Sciences are key in helping to bridge people across disciplines," she said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Teresa Herbert
therbert@mit.edu
617-258-5403
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UC San Diego researchers could help US military thwart explosive threats
2. As rates rise, researchers find better way to identify melanoma
3. Researchers discover a gene that regulates and blocks ovulation
4. Researchers discover link between organ transplantation and increased cancer risk
5. Dartmouth researchers discover gene signatures for scleroderma
6. Louisiana Tech researchers feature drug reformulation in prestigious journal
7. UCLA researchers locate and image prostate cancer as it spreads to lymph nodes
8. Researchers catch ion channels in their opening act
9. UGA researchers discover mechanism that explains how cancer enzyme winds up on ends of chromosomes
10. Researchers hack final part of the immune system code
11. Iowa State researchers study ground cover to reduce impact of biomass harvest
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/15/2016)... June 15, 2016 Transparency ... titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis ... 2024". According to the report, the  global gesture recognition ... 2015 and is estimated to grow at a ... by 2024.  Increasing application of gesture ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... TURKU, Finland , June 9, 2016 ... French National Police deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure ... France during the major tournament ... and data communications systems and services, announced today that its ... Police Prefecture to back up public safety across ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... 2016 Das DOTM ... Nepal hat ein 44 Millionen ... Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und IT-Infrastruktur, an ... und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche renommierte internationale ... teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als konformste und ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... MA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... Peel Plate® YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute ... platform of microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that asks ... systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at the ... York City . The teams, chosen ... MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. Keynote ... of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... , ... Supplyframe, the Industry Network for electronics hardware design ... Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission is to bring together inventors ... and brought to market. , The Design Lab is Supplyframe’s physical representation of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a new case report ... detail how a patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted ... change the paradigm for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: