Fluorescence that illuminates a specific protein within a cells nucleus may be a key to identifying cancer virulence and to developing individualized treatment, according to researchers at Purdue University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Learning about the changes in location of proteins within cell nuclei may help researchers determine the types and virulence of cancer cells and find new treatments. Purdue researcher Sophie Lelièvre and her colleagues at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory studied the protein NuMA in breast tissue to develop an automated technique to track, map and analyze the proteins redistribution in different cell types. The illustration compares NuMA (in red) in the nucleus of a normal breast tissue cell (top left) to the nucleus of a cell belonging to an invasive breast tumor (top right). The drawings in black show nuclei within the organization of non-malignant and malignant cells of a normal glandular breast tissue (bottom left) and of a tumor nodule (bottom right), respectively. (Illustration by Sophie Lelièvre)
The scientists created a technique that automatically locates and maps proteins involved in regulating cell behavior, said Sophie Lelièvre, Purdue assistant professor of basic medical sciences. The research results have for the first time made it possible to verify the distinction between multiplying cells that are harmless and those that are malignant.
Lelièvre and co-corresponding author on the study, David Knowles of the national lab, used human mammary cells to analyze nuclear protein distribution that shifted depending on whether a cell was malignant, had not yet developed a specific function or was a normally functioning mature mammary cell.
Susan A. Steeves | EurekAlert!
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