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Novel technique reveals both gene number and protein expression simultaneously
Date:9/22/2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Researchers have discovered a method for simultaneously visualizing gene number and protein expression in individual cells. The fluorescence microscopy technique could permit a detailed analysis of the relationship between gene status and expression of the corresponding protein in cells and tissues, and bring a clearer understanding of cancer and other complex diseases, according to researchers who led the study.

The new technique is called the fluorescent in situ gene protein assay. It combines traditional fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with the in situ proximity ligation assay, which is capable of resolving individual protein molecules.

"To my knowledge, this is the first technique that allows us to concurrently address gene activity and corresponding protein expression in the same cells," says co-principal investigator Dr. Arnab Chakravarti, chair and professor of radiation oncology and co-director of the Brain Tumor Program at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC - James).

"The ability to resolve gene and protein-expression changes across a tumor could help us understand what drives tumor behavior overall," Chakravarti says

The new assay is described in the August issue of the journal Neuro-Oncology. For this study, principal investigator Dr. Markus Bredel, an associate professor at the University of Alabama Birmingham, and an adjunct associate professor radiation oncology at the OSUCCC James, along with Chakravarti and their collaborators first assayed fixed human glioblastoma tumor cells, then paraffin-embedded human glioblastoma tissue. In both cases, the researchers assayed for overexpression of a mutant form of the epidermal growth factor receptor gene, EGFRvIII, and for levels of its truncated protein in glioblastoma.

"This method has potential to perform a detailed analysis of the relationship
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Contact: Darrell E. Ward
Darrell.Ward@osumc.edu
614-293-3737
Ohio State University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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