The researchers then used the method to assess sulfenic acid levels as a marker of oxidative stress in several systems, including a panel of breast cancer cell lines.
"For each line, we saw a very distinct pattern of sulfenic acid modifications," indicating different oxidative stress levels and hinting at differences in the underlying molecular events associated with tumor growth," said Carroll, assistant professor of chemistry and a research assistant professor in the Life Sciences Institute. "Whether the patterns we see will correlate with response to antioxidant treatment or other therapies that modulate oxidative stress level remains to be seen, but now we at least have a way to investigate that question."
Next, Carroll's group wants to determine which specific proteins in the cell are being modified and what roles, if any, those proteins play in the disease process. "Some of the modified proteins may not play any role, but I'm sure it will turn out that many of them do," Carroll said. "Once we find out which proteins are involved, we can target them directly rather than using global treatments like antioxidants."
The U-M Office of Technology Transfer is working on commercialization of the technology. Patent protection has been applied for, and the compounds used in this research soon will be commercially available.
|Contact: Nancy Ross-Flanigan|
University of Michigan