Navigation Links
Bioelectric signals can be used to detect early cancer
Date:1/31/2013

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. (February 1, 2013) Biologists at Tufts University School of Arts and Sciences have discovered a bioelectric signal that can identify cells that are likely to develop into tumors. The researchers also found that they could lower the incidence of cancerous cells by manipulating the electrical charge across cells' membranes.

"The news here is that we've established a bioelectric basis for the early detection of cancer," says Brook Chernet, doctoral student and the first author of a newly published research paper co-authored with Michael Levin, Ph.D., professor of biology and director of the Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology.

Levin notes, "We've shown that electric events tell the cells what to do. The voltage changes are not merely a sign of cancer. They control and direct whether the cancer occurs or not."

Their paper, "Transmembrane Voltage Potential is an Essential Cellular Parameter for the Detection and Control of Tumor Development" will be published in the May 2013 issue of "Disease Models and Mechanisms" (available online on February 1).

Bioelectric signals underlie an important set of control mechanisms that regulate how cells grow and multiply. Chernet and Levin investigated the bioelectric properties of cells that develop into tumors in Xenopus laevis frog embryos.

In previous research, Tufts scientists have shown how manipulating membrane voltage can influence or regulate cellular behavior such as cell proliferation, migration, and shape in vivo, and be used to induce the formation or regenerative repair of whole organs and appendages. In this study, the researchers hypothesized that cancer can occur when bioelectric signaling networks are perturbed and cells stop attending to the patterning cues that orchestrate their normal development.

Tumor Cells Exhibit a Bioelectric Signature

The researchers induced tumor growth in the frog embryos by injecting the samples with mRNAs (messenger RNA) encoding well-recognized human oncogenes Gli1, KrasG12D, and Xrel3. The embryos developed tumor-like growths that are associated with human cancers such as melanoma, leukemia, lung cancer, and rhabdomyosarcoma (a soft tissue cancer that most often affects children).

When the researchers analyzed the tumor cells using a membrane voltage-sensitive dye and fluorescence microscopy, they made an exciting discovery. "The tumor sites had unique depolarized membrane voltage relative to surrounding tissue," says Chernet. "They could be recognized by this distinctive bioelectric signal.

Changing Electrical Properties Lowers Incidence of Tumors

The Tufts biologists were also able to show that changing the bioelectric code to hyperpolarize tumor cells suppressed abnormal cell growth. "We hypothesized that the appearance of oncogene-induced tumors can be inhibited by alteration of membrane voltage," says Levin, "and we were right."

To counteract the tumor-inducing depolarization, they injected the cells with mRNA encoding carefully-chosen ion channels (proteins that control the passage of ions across cell membranes).

Using embryos injected with oncogenes such as Xrel3, the researchers introduced one of two ion channels (the glycine gated chloride channel GlyR-F99A or the potassium channel Kir4.1) known to hyperpolarize membrane voltage gradients in frog embryos. In both cases, the incidence of subsequent tumors was substantially lower than it was with embryos that received the oncogene but no hyperpolarizing channel treatment.

Experiments to determine the cellular mechanism that allows hyperpolarization to inhibit tumor formation showed that transport of butyrate, a known tumor suppressor, was responsible


'/>"/>

Contact: Alex Reid
alexander.reid@tufts.edu
617-688-2753
Tufts University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Lyme Rash Reappearance Probably Signals New Infection, Study Says
2. Heart Defect at Birth Signals Need to Check for Other Disorders: AHA
3. Re-Routing Spinal Cord Signals Restores Movement in Paralyzed Rats
4. Gatekeeper of brain steroid signals boosts emotional resilience to stress
5. New biomarker may help in detecting gliomas, reports Neurosurgery
6. Using lysine estimates to detect heat damage in DDGS
7. ARUP Laboratories Introduces Blood Test to Aid in the Early Detection of Lung Cancer
8. Ponderosa Property Management Reminds Landlords of the Deadline to Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Multi-Family Units
9. Brief class on easy-to-miss precancerous polyps ups detection, Mayo study shows
10. Test to detect pre-menstrual syndrome
11. Charge detector for ion chromatography co-developed by UT Arlington and Thermo Fisher Scientific
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Bioelectric signals can be used to detect early cancer
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has awarded a grant ... a pathway to employment and successful careers in healthcare. On Wednesday, May 4th, Rick ... and CEO of Medisend, parent organization and home of the General Myers Veterans Program. ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... ... Dr. Travis Schwarz is an experienced dentist who leads Riverheart Family ... serves patients of all ages with a full menu of dental services, including preventative, ... the superior patient reviews that he has consistently earned during his practice experience. It ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... Cheryl Bowker ... has to bestow: the Dick McKenna Good Hands Legacy Award. McKenna ran one of ... others which continues to inspire all those who knew him. The award named for ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... Coral Gables, FL (PRWEB) , ... May 25, ... ... in its Cross Benefit Clearinghouse supporting the real time adjudication of medical service ... Urgent Care providers using their current medical claims management software. The TransactRx Cross ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... America Walks , a national advocacy ... of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health , has been ... and 24 other advocates from around the country to participate in a four-month training ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. , May 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... an oncology drug development company, today provided an ... Ib dose escalating clinical trial combining GEN-1, the ... for the treatment of newly-diagnosed patients with advanced ... by interval debulking surgery.  GEN-1 is an IL-12 ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... May 24, 2016 Los ... terapia del mundo, introduce catéteres para la intervención ... OrbusNeich, una compañía global especializada en el suministro ... expandido su cartera incluyendo productos para tratar la ... Scoreflex™ PTA son los dispositivos de primera entrada ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Dutch surgeons have launched a ground-breaking medical app to ... patients on a global scale. Medical professionals from Europe ... and the US have already signed up for the app, ... totally secure environment. Education  "Imagine a doctor ... a surgeon at Harvard to treat a bomb victim via live ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: