Navigation Links
New cancer diagnostic technique debuts
Date:3/14/2013

Valdivia, Chile, and Washington, D.C.Cancer cells break down sugars and produce the metabolic acid lactate at a much higher rate than normal cells. This phenomenon provides a telltale sign that cancer is present, via diagnostics such as PET scans, and possibly offers an avenue for novel cancer therapies. Now a team of Chilean researchers at The Centro de Estudios Cientficos (CECs), with the collaboration of Carnegie's Wolf Frommer, has devised a molecular sensor that can detect levels of lactate in individual cells in real time.

Prior to this advance, no other measurement method could non-invasively detect lactate in real time at the single-cell level. The work, published in the open access journal PLOS ONE, is a boon to understanding how different types of cells go awry when cancer hits.

"Over the last decade, the Frommer lab at Carnegie has pioneered the use of Frster Resonance Energy Transfer, or FRET, sensors to measure the concentration and flow of sugars in individual cells with a simple fluorescent color change. This has started to revolutionize the field of cell metabolism," explained CECs researcher Alejandro San Martn, lead author of the article. "Using the same underlying physical principle and inspired by the sugar sensors, we have now invented a new type of sensor based on a transcriptional factor. A molecule that normally helps bacteria to adapt to its environment has now been tricked into measuring lactate for us."

Lactate shuttles between cells and inside cells as part of the normal metabolic process. But it is also involved in diseases that include inflammation, inadequate oxygen supply to cells, restricted blood supply to tissues, and neurological degradation, in addition to cancer.

"Standard methods to measure lactate are based on reactions among enzymes, which require a large number of cells in complex cell mixtures," explained Felipe Barros, leader of the project. "This makes it difficult or even impossible to see how different types of cells are acting when cancerous. Our new technique lets us measure the metabolism of individual cells, giving us a new window for understanding how different cancers operate. An important advantage of this technique is that it may be used in high-throughput format, as required for drug development."

This work used a bacterial transcription factora protein that binds to specific DNA sequences to control the flow of genetic information from DNA to mRNAas a means to produce and insert the lactate sensor. They turned the sensor on in three cell types: normal brain cells, tumor brain cells, and human embryonic cells. The sensor was able to quantify very low concentrations of lactate, providing an unprecedented sensitivity and range of detection.

The researchers found that the tumor cells produced lactate 3-5 times faster than the non-tumor cells. "The high rate of lactate production in the cancer cell is the hallmark of cancer metabolism," remarked Frommer. "This result paves the way for understanding the nuances of cancer metabolism in different types of cancer and for developing new techniques for combatting this scourge."

In addition, the biosensors promise to solve an old controversy. While some studies have suggested the glucose provides the fuel for the brain, recent research has provided evidence that lactate feeds energy metabolism in neurons. Oxidation of lactate can be used to produce large amount of ATPthe coenzyme that carries energy in cells. The Barros and Frommer teams are excited about the solving this enigma with the use of their new sensors, together with the previously developed glucose sensors. Recently, a collaboration between the two labs led to the patenting of the first method capable of measuring the rate of glucose consumption in single cells.


'/>"/>

Contact: Wolf Frommer
wfrommer@carnegiescience.edu
650-739-4208
Carnegie Institution
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Tortoise and the hare: New drug stops rushing cancer cells, slow and steady healthy cells unharmed
2. Embryonic development protein active in cancer growth
3. BRG1 mutations confer resistance to hormones in lung cancer
4. Genetic variation in East Asians found to explain resistance to cancer drugs
5. Beyond the microscope: Identifying specific cancers using molecular analysis
6. Marshall University study may lead to new treatments for prostate cancer
7. Salk scientists open new window into how cancers override cellular growth controls
8. Penn research points to new way of preserving fertility for boys undergoing cancer treatment
9. Genetic abnormality offers diagnostic hope for childrens cancer
10. Protein jailbreak helps breast cancer cells live
11. Breast cancer risk gene discovery fast tracked by new technology
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric Vehicle Access System ... over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 million by 2025. ... forecasts for all the given segments on global as well as ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... March 21, 2017   Neurotechnology , a ... technologies, today announced the release of the ... provides improved facial recognition using up to 10 ... single computer. The new version uses deep neural-network-based ... and it utilizes a Graphing Processing Unit (GPU) ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... At this year,s CeBIT Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel ... came to the DERMALOG stand together with the Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo ... At the largest German biometrics company the two government leaders could see ... as well as DERMALOG´s multi-biometrics system.   Continue ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/26/2017)... 2017 /PRNewswire/ - Caprion Biosciences Inc., a world leading specialty CRO ... proteins predictive of early stage (latent) Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection ... monitoring (MRM-MS) platform. ... Caprion Biosciences Inc. (CNW Group/Caprion Biosciences) ... The new data, recently published ...
(Date:7/26/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Proscia Inc. , a software solutions provider for digital ... 2017 MedCity CONVERGE. His talk, “The Davids vs. the Cancer Goliath,” will discuss how ... (AI, VR, Big Data) sectors are taking aim at cancer diagnosis and research. Proscia ...
(Date:7/26/2017)... ... July 25, 2017 , ... ... garner a better understanding of the considerations needed for designing ideal guide RNAs ... use of CRISPR-Cas9 to create targeted double-strand breaks in genomic DNA has greatly ...
(Date:7/26/2017)... ... 26, 2017 , ... Spectral imaging is a non-destructive technique ... This unique capability combines high resolution imaging with spectral analysis. The system ... for chemical analysis, quality control, and decision-making. , Snapshot spectral imaging is key ...
Breaking Biology Technology: