Navigation Links
Naturally fluorescent molecules may serve as cancer biomarker
Date:4/2/2009

Excess amounts of a naturally fluorescent molecule found in all living cells could serve as a natural biomarker for cancer, according to bioengineers.

NADH, or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, is a key coenzyme -- a non-protein molecule necessary for the functioning of an enzyme -- found mostly in the inner membrane of a cell's power plant, or mitochondria. It fuels a series of biochemical reactions that involve various enzymes to produce ATP, the major energy source in cells. In the event of disease or a metabolic disorder, these enzymes and their related reactions can become disabled, causing a buildup of unused NADH.

"Dysfunctional enzymes in the mitochondria are known to be associated with serious health problems such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases," said Ahmed Heikal, associate professor of bioengineering, Penn State. "By detecting the level of NADH and its distribution inside living cells, we should be able to monitor the mitochondrial activity and thus the integrity of any given cell, without adding potentially toxic dyes or actually destroying the cell."

According to Heikal, one of the main challenges in cancer diagnosis is the ability to differentiate cancer cells from normal ones at the early stages of tumor progression.

To tease apart the critical difference between normal and cancerous cells, the researchers used the fluorescence of natural NADH. Using a combination of state-of-the-art spectroscopy and microscopy techniques, the researchers were able to convert such fluorescence into an accurate measure of NADH concentration in live cells. Heikal and Yu, graduate student, bioengineering, have found that the average concentration of NADH in breast cancer cells is about twice that in normal breast cells.

"If we are given two live cells, one normal and the other cancerous, we could differentiate between the two with confidence," said Heikal, whose team's findings appear today (April 2) in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology. "For the first time, we have been able to quantify the concentration of NADH in both live breast cells and breast cancer cells."

The researchers also looked at the amounts of NADH in the cell that is free and how much is bound to other enzymes. These amounts are different in normal and cancer cells.

"We realized that the fluorescence intensity not only depends upon the concentration of NADH but also on its structure -- free or enzyme-bound -- as well as its place inside the cell -- in the cytoplasm (non-nucleus part of the cell) or in mitochondria," explained Heikal. "Since a free NADH molecule would rotate -- tumble -- faster than enzyme-bound NADH, we were able to develop a technique called rotational diffusion imaging to establish a direct measure of the concentrations of free and enzyme-bound NADH throughout a living cell, whether in the cytosol (cell fluid) or the mitochondria."

To confirm their findings that disruption of chemical reactions that produce ATP can lead to an increase in NADH, Heikal and Yu exposed normal breast cells to potassium cyanide, a known inhibitor of some of these critical mitochondrial enzymes.

The researchers found that the NADH concentration in the normal cells increased when exposed to potassium cyanide. The relative amounts of NADH in the mitochondria also rose significantly.

Other researchers have previously measured the amount of NADH in cells using conventional biochemical techniques that require destroying the cells. However, Heikal believes measurements of dead cells provide no information about NADH distribution in the cells and may not be accurate or relevant for diagnostic or clinical use.

"The advantage of our non-destructive approach is that the NADH location in a cell relates to its function in cell survival," explained Heikal. "When you destroy the cell, you do not know where the NADH molecules existed inside the cell and what role they might have played in cell survival. For accurate diagnosis, you need to have the cellular context to better understand the problem."

According to the Penn State researcher, the ability to accurately measure NADH levels in a cell without killing it could have potential implications for related research on human health and drug delivery.

"Our technique is not limited to detecting cancer. Other neurodegenerative diseases related to mitochondrial anomalies can also be detected with our method," Heikal said. "We can also use our approach to quantify the efficiency of a new drug on manipulating the activities of mitochondrial enzymes associated with energy production in cells."


'/>"/>

Contact: Amitabh Avasthi
axa47@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Childrens Bedding Naturally Enhances Emotional Well-being
2. Naturally Safe Zucol(TM) Brings Europes Leading Cold Remedy to United States
3. Naturally produced estrogen may protect women from Parkinsons disease
4. HPS Establishes Independent Website for its Patent-Pending Mood-Enhancing Compound Naturally Found in Sea Coral
5. HPS Files Comprehensive Patent Outside the Unites States for Mood-Enhancing Compound Naturally Found in Sea Coral
6. HPS Files Patent for Mood-Enhancing Compound Naturally Found in Sea Coral
7. Top Tips To Naturally Heal Dry Skin And Moisturize This Winter
8. Naturally Safe Cold Remedy Challenges Effectiveness of Over-The-Counter Cold Medications
9. Hain Celestial to Present at Canaccord Adams Healthy Living Naturally Boston Conference on October 15, 2008
10. New Skin Revitalizing Product Uses Naturally Occurring Serum for the Repair of Sun Damaged Skin
11. Children are naturally prone to be empathic and moral
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Early this week, Team Iconic at J. Walter Thompson and ... the first global confectionery brand sourced from 100% sustainable cocoa. , The Nestlé Cocoa ... product, through activities that focus on better farming, better lives and better cocoa. In ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... MetLoop ... revolutionary new 2.0 version at the International Roofing Expo in Orlando, Florida on ... the world's most advanced weather technology in the hands of consumers, roofing contractors, ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... compliance tracking solution, The Guard, to associations of medical professionals throughout the country. ... compliance, including security risk assessments, policies and procedures, employee training, regulatory updates, and ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Dr. Peyman Ghasri, ... offering a variety of comprehensive procedures for facial enhancement. The treatments now available ... lip enhancement and nasal reshaping. , As a result, patients can improve ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Indianapolis, IN (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 ... ... employee benefits advisory organization, welcomes S.S. Nesbitt as the latest addition to its ... and has seven other locations throughout the Southeast, from Orlando to Huntsville and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... 10, 2016 --> ... & Gas), and Spectroscopy Market by Industry (Oil & Gas, ... & Paper, Metal & Mining, and Others), And Geography ... global market is expected to grow to USD 3.9 ... between 2015 and 2020. Browse 82 market ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... and SAN DIEGO , Feb. 10, ... global leader in viral gene therapy manufacturing, and Renova™ ... congestive heart failure and other chronic diseases, have entered ... manufacturing process and produce cGMP-grade RT-100 (Ad5.hAC6) Drug Product ... --> --> This relationship ...
(Date:2/10/2016)...  Rich Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTC Markets: RCHA) ("Rich Pharmaceuticals" ... of its issued and outstanding shares of common stock ... 11, 2016. The Company,s common stock will trade on ... temporary ticker symbol "RCHAD". After 20 trading days, the ... (RCHA).  --> --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: