Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Experts from CNIO discover shining cells responsible for developing tumors

30.09.2014

This finding will help to track the origin of chemical resistance and to launch personalized medicine by means of developing novel therapies against these cancer stem cells

Tumours are mosaics of cells that are morphologically and molecularly very different. In this cellular heterogeneity, it is calculated that only 1-2% of the tumour mass is made up of cancer stem cells, which over the past years have been suggested to be responsible for the origin of cancer and for the resistance to conventional chemical therapies.


Researchers Bruno Sainz and Irene Miranda show the image of a tumor stem cell containing green-colored fluorescent vesicles.

Credit: CNIO

This small percentage of cancer stem cells in a solid tumour makes it difficult to isolate and analyse them, as well as to study the origin of drug resistance.

Researchers from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) have discovered and characterised a new specific marker for cancer stem cells: riboflavin, or vitamin B2, a pigment that emits green fluorescence as a result of its accumulation inside intracellular vesicles. This light emission property, acts to track, isolate, and later purify it, without the need for antibodies or other more costly and complex techniques.

Results from the research, headed by scientists Irene Miranda, Bruno Sainz and Christopher Heeschen, are published today in the journal Nature Methods.

"The discovery of this new marker is a breakthrough, as it can select for tumour stem cells, which are the most invasive and chemical-resistant cancer cells. Autofluorescence allows these cells to be tracked in an easy, simple and inexpensive way, as well as to study the origin of the tumours' chemical resistance," states Irene Miranda, the article's first author.

"Normally, we only see the leaves of the tree represented by tumours, but we cannot make out the roots [the cancer stem cells], which are the true responsible parties for the progression and growth of tumours," illustrates Miranda.

Cells shining, thanks to a vitamin

The discovery −which was carried out in several types of tumours, including samples from patients with pancreas, liver, colon and lung cancer− raises a question: why do tumour stem cells accumulate vitamin B2?

In the article, researchers show that this is due to an increase in ABCG2, the protein responsible for the transport of vitamin B2 into intracellular vesicles, conferring luminosity to the cells. The factors behind this phenomenon are yet to be determined.

Despite unknowns regarding its nature, autofluorescence could help to launch future approaches in personalised medicine and to develop more effective anticancer treatments. "We will now be able to isolate autofluorescent cells from a biopsy and to test their sensitivity in a panel of experimental or marketed drugs," affirm Sainz and Heeschen. "In this way, we want to accelerate the identification of new drugs or their use in combination, in order to specifically destroy the patient´s cancer stem cells," says Sainz.

###

The study was funded by the European Union, the National Institute of Health Carlos III, the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and the "la Caixa" Foundation.

Reference article: Intracellular autofluorescence: a biomarker for epithelial cancer stem cells. Irene Miranda-Lorenzo, Jorge Dorado, Enza Lonardo, Sonia Alcala, Alicia G Serrano, Jenifer Clausell-Tormos, Michele Cioffi, Diego Megias, Sladjana Zagorac, Anamaria Balic, Manuel Hidalgo, Mert Erkan, Joerg Kleeff, Aldo Scarpa, Bruno Sainz, Jr & Christopher Heeschen. Nature Methods (2014). doi: 10.1038/nmeth.3112

Nuria Noriega | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.cnio.es

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Molecular Force Sensors
20.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

nachricht Foster tadpoles trigger parental instinct in poison frogs
20.09.2017 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>