Navigation Links
Scientists: New technique identifies molecular 'biomarkers' for disease
Date:3/31/2008

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- University of Florida chemists are the first to use a new tool to identify the molecular signatures of serious diseases -- without any previous knowledge of what these microscopic signatures or biomarkers should look like.

Reported this month in the online edition of the Journal of Proteome Research, the advance could one day lead to earlier detection and improved treatment of some types of cancer as well as other diseases.

With many diseases, the problem has been that we really dont know what to look for, said Weihong Tan, a professor of chemistry and the lead author of the paper. What weve done is create a technique to identify the biomarkers despite that limitation.

Doctors often diagnose cancer and other diseases based on the appearance of a tumor or a patients symptoms. While such traditional methods can be effective, they sometimes identify a disease only after it is established. For example, clinicians may get tipped off to the presence of lung cancer which kills more people than any other type of cancer based on visible images of a tumor that appear on radiological exams of a patients lungs.

Because earlier detection typically improves outcomes, doctors would like to spot disease at the molecular level, before it grows or spreads and manifests itself in more obvious and harmful ways. Given that diseased cells molecular structures differ from those of healthy ones, that approach should be possible, and researchers have had some success finding such biomarkers using antibodies, Tan said. But despite years of research, biomarkers for most diseases remain elusive or unreliable, he said.

His group turned to aptamers, single-strand chains of DNA or RNA that recognize and bind to target protein molecules, as a new tool. His paper reports the first-ever successful use of the aptamers to discover a molecular biomarker in this case, one for leukemia.

Tan said his group used cell-SELEX, a process his group developed and patented.

Researchers create trillions of different varieties of aptamers in a solution. They then immerse cells known to carry the sought-after disease in the solution. After an incubation period, they rinse the cells.

The vast majority of the aptamers wash away, but those with stronger molecular affinity for the diseased cells remain. The researchers repeat the process several times, eventually shrinking the pool of aptamers to as few as 10 to 25 very strongly attached aptamers those most closely associated with the diseased cells. Analysis then reveals these aptamers molecular structure, as well as the molecular structure of the cells biomarkers they bind to.

As long as the molecules in question are expressed in a substantially different way on diseased and normal cells, they can be identified, Tan said.

Rebecca Sutphen, associate professor and director of the Genetic Counseling & Testing Service at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa, said improved diagnosis may not be the only application of the research.

The opportunity to identify cancer cell-specific biomarkers and potentially detect small numbers of cancer cells has many potential clinical applications, including disease detection, better imaging of tumors and even potential application for stem cells, she said.

Other biomarkers have been found for leukemia, but none is particularly reliable, Tan said. Tan and his colleagues reported using aptamers to recognize cancer cells in a 2006 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Tan said the latest paper advances that work by revealing the target biomarkers the selected aptamers recognize, Tan said. These targets will form a molecular foundation in understanding diseases, he said.

In 2006, we did not know what the aptamer recognized on the cancer cell surface, he said. In this current work, we report discovering these biomarkers, which then form the molecular foundation for us to understand the cancer and to prepare different molecular tools for molecular medicine.

Tan said the research is particularly promising because aptamers are relatively easy and inexpensive to manufacture compared with antibodies. This offers the potential for wider application, he said, adding that aptamers could one day be used not only to detect disease, but also to ferry therapeutic agents to diseased cells.


'/>"/>

Contact: Weihong Tan
tan@chem.ufl.edu
352-846-2410
University of Florida
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Eye-staining technique offers early detection for dry eye syndrome
2. New technique detects specific chromosomal damage, may indicate lung cancer risk
3. The Pharma & Life Sciences Best Practice Database: an Industry Resource for Successful Techniques and Performance Benchmarks for Reaching the Top
4. Latest DES Analysis Stresses Importance of Physicians Well-Trained in Implantation Technique and Patient Follow-Up
5. Accuray Receives FDA Clearance for New Dose Calculation Technique for Body Radiosurgery
6. Radiation therapy technique reduces length of prostate cancer treatment
7. Radiation therapy technique reduces length of prostate cancer treatment
8. IVF technique enables pregnancy without multiple births, Stanford researchers find
9. UT Southwestern investigating hypothermic technique in treating pediatric head injuries
10. UCLA doctor develops new technique to treat varicose veins
11. New technique improves purity of medicines
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many ... dementia. However, many long-term care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the ... 90-day elimination period, when the family pays for care, is often waived, so the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out many ... event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting kids ... of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about having ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a ... has been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services ... accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... services for healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology and ... for Assisted Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Wis. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... standard products to meet the demand of today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. ... of probiotic experts and tested to meet the highest standard. , These ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. , Oct. 10, 2017  NDS received ... Mobile  — a medical-grade battery-powered display stand specifically designed for ... aims to transform technology into a clinical solution to support the ... costs. Innovative Design ... NDS ZeroWire Mobile Wireless Solution ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza vaccination ... is helping communities across Massachusetts , Connecticut ... flu shots through the end of the month. *Some exclusions ... ... shot is by the end of October, according to the Centers for ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017 Halo Labs announces the European ... system called the HORIZON at MIBio 2017 in Cambridge, ... and visible particulate matter in biopharmaceutical samples with unprecedented speed and ... the novel technique Backgrounded Membrane Imaging. ... The HORIZON subvisible particle analysis system ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: