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Live cell imaging reveals distinct alterations of subcellular glutathione potentials
Date:4/17/2014

In the April issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine a multidisciplinary research team led by Drs. Rex Gaskins and Paul Kenis in the Institute of Genomic Biology (IGB) on the campus of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign describe their recent work on subcellular redox homeostasis. Intracellular reduction-oxidation reactions underlie a variety of cell functions including energy metabolism, signaling, and transcriptional processes. Due to these crucial roles in regulating normal cellular behavior, redox status has been recognized as a key area of biological research in various diseases, including cancer.

Oxidative states are generally considered to be indicative of cellular stress; however, cells inherently release harmful reactive oxygen species during energy production, neutralized by intracellular antioxidative buffering systems. The recent development of genetically-encoded fluorescent biosensors specific to glutathione (GSH), the most abundant cellular redox buffer, has facilitated the IGB research group's discovery of distinct alterations of glutathione redox potentials in the cytosol versus mitochondria within the cell.

"The highly sensitive probe Grx1-roGFP2 enabled us to monitor rapid compartmentalized changes in the glutathione redox potentials in live cells. The complex redox interactions between organelles are significant to maintaining cellular health and imbalances may contribute to the transformation of tumor cells," said Dr. Vladimir Kolossov, corresponding author.

The changes in fluorescence intensity of the probe correspond to the alterations of oxidized:reduced GSH, which is highly indicative of overall redox balance. Time lapse images collected on a Zeiss Axiovert 200M fluorescence microscope in the core imaging facility of IGB allowed real-time monitoring of the redox state in the cytosol and mitochondria of live cells.

"In modern biology mitochondria are considered to be much more than t
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Contact: Vladimir L. Kolossov
viadimer@illinois.edu
Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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