Cancer Biology


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0 Q&A 2035 Views Aug 20, 2022

The in-cell western (ICW) is an immunocytochemical technique that has been used to screen for effects of siRNAs, drugs, and small molecule inhibitors. The reduced time and number of cells required to follow this protocol illustrates its semi-high-throughput nature. Performing a successful ICW protocol requires fixing and permeabilizing adherent cells directly in the plate that specifically exposes the epitope of interest. After blocking of non-specific proteins, the cells are incubated overnight with a primary antibody of interest, which is detected via a host-specific near-infrared fluorescently labeled LI-COR secondary antibody. In the final step, the plate is scanned using an Odyssey LI-COR Imaging System or similar, and each of the wells is quantified. For the first time, this technique has been demonstrated to be reproducibly utilized for semi-high-throughput selection of knockout or overexpression clones.


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2 Q&A 6846 Views May 5, 2021

Recent studies from multiple labs including ours have demonstrated the importance of extrachromosomal circular DNA (eccDNA) from yeast to humans (Shibata et al., 2012; Dillon et al., 2015; Møller et al., 2016; Kumar et al., 2017; Turner et al., 2017; Kim et al., 2020). More recently, it has been found that cancer cells obtain a selective advantage by amplifying oncogenes on eccDNA, which drives genomic instability (Wu et al., 2019; Kim et al., 2020). Previously, we have purified circular DNA and enriched the population using rolling circle amplification followed by high-throughput sequencing for the identification of eccDNA based on the unique junctional sequence. However, eccDNA identification by rolling circle amplification is biased toward small circles. Here, we report a rolling circle-independent method to detect eccDNA in human cancer cells. We demonstrate a sensitive and robust step-by-step workflow for finding novel eccDNAs using ATAC-seq (Assay for Transposase-Accessible Chromatin using sequencing) combined with a Circle_finder bioinformatics algorithm to predict the eccDNAs, followed by its validation using two independent methods, inverse PCR and metaphase FISH (Fluorescence in situ Hybridization).

0 Q&A 4377 Views Mar 20, 2020
The single-cell transcriptome is the set of messenger RNA molecules expressed in one cell. It is extremely variable and changes according to external, physical and biochemical conditions. Due to sensitivity shortages, most of genetic studies use bulk samples, providing only the average gene expression. Single-cell technologies have provided a powerful approach to a more detailed understanding of the heterogenic populations and minority cells. However, since it is still a quite novel technique, standardized protocol has to be established. Single-cell qPCR, although partly limited by the number of genes, is relatively simple to analyze. Therefore, its use is accessible without the necessity to recourse to complex bioinformatics analyses. The main steps for single-cell qPCR, as illustrated in this protocol, are composed by single-cell isolation, cell lysate, cDNA reverse-transcription synthesis, amplification for cDNA library generation, and finally, quantitative polymerase chain reaction.
0 Q&A 3616 Views Feb 5, 2020
Cancer cell lines serve as invaluable model systems for cancer biology research and help in evaluating the efficacy of new therapeutic agents. However, cell line contamination and misidentification have become one of the most pressing problems affecting biomedical research. Available methods of cell line authentication suffer from limited access, time-consuming and often costly for many researchers, hence a new and cost-effective approach for cell line authentication is needed. In this regard, we developed a new method called CeL-ID for cell line authentication using genomic variants as a byproduct derived from RNA-seq data. CeL-ID was trained and tested on publicly available more than 900 RNA-seq dataset derived from the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia (CCLE) project; including most frequently used adult and pediatric cancer cell lines. We generated cell line specific variant profiles from RNA-seq data using our in-house pipeline followed by pair-wise variant profile comparison between cell lines using allele frequencies and depth of coverage values of the entire variant set. Comparative analysis of variant profiles revealed that they differ significantly from cell line to cell line whereas identical, synonymous and derivative cell lines share high variant identity and their allelic fractions are highly correlated, which is the basis of this cell line authentication protocol. Additionally, CeL-ID also includes a method to estimate the possible cross-contamination using a linear mixture model with any possible CCLE cells in case no perfect match was detected.
0 Q&A 4660 Views Dec 5, 2019
In the context of precision medicine, the identification of novel biomarkers for the diagnosis of disease, prognosis, predicting treatment outcome and monitoring of treatment success is of great importance. The analysis of methylated circulating-cell free DNA provides great promise to complement or replace genetic markers for these applications, but is associated with substantial challenges. This is particularly true for the detection of rare methylated DNA molecules in a limited amount of sample such as tumor released hypermethylated molecules in the background of DNA fragments from normal cells, especially lymphocytes.

Technologies for the sensitive detection of DNA methylation have been developed to enrich specifically methylated DNA or unmethylated DNA using among other methods: enzymatic digestion, methylation-specific PCR (often combined with TaqMan like oligonucleotide probes (MethyLight)) and co-amplification at lower denaturation temperature PCR (COLD-PCR).

E-ice-COLD-PCR (Enhanced-improved and complete enrichment-COLD-PCR) is a sensitive method that takes advantage of a Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA)-containing oligonucleotide probe to block specifically unmethylated CpG sites allowing the strong enrichment of low-abundant methylated CpG sites from a limited quantity of input. E-ice-COLD-PCRs are performed on bisulfite-converted DNA followed by Pyrosequencing analysis. The quantification of the initially present DNA methylation level is obtained using calibration curves of methylated and unmethylated DNA. The E-ice-COLD-PCR reactions can be multiplexed, allowing the analysis and quantification of the DNA methylation level of several target genes. In contrast to the above-mentioned assays, E-ice-COLD-PCR will also perform in the presence of frequently occurring heterogeneous DNA methylation patterns at the target sites. The presented protocol describes the development of an E-ice-COLD-PCR assay including assay design, optimization of E-ice-COLD-PCR conditions including annealing temperature, critical temperature and concentration of LNA blocker probe followed by Pyrosequencing analysis.
0 Q&A 18437 Views Jun 5, 2017
Programmable RNA-guided nucleases based on CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-Cas (CRISPR-associated protein) systems have been applied to various type of cells as powerful genome editing tools. By using activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) in place of the nuclease activity of the CRISPR/Cas9 system, we have developed a genome editing tool for targeted nucleotide substitution (C to T or G to A) without donor DNA template (Figure 1; Nishida et al., 2016). Here we describe the detailed method for Target-AID to perform programmable point mutagenesis in the genome of mammalian cells. A specific method for targeting the hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) gene in Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell was described here as an example, while this method principally should be applicable to any gene of interest in a wide range of cell types.


Figure 1. Schematic illustration for Target-AID and its targetable site. In a guide-RNA (gRNA)-dependent manner, PmCDA1 fused to nCas9 (D10A) via a linker performs programmable cytidine mutagenesis around -21 to -16 positions relative to PAM sequence on the non-complementary strand in mammalian cells. The targetable site was determined based on the efficient base substitution (> 20%) observed in the previous work.

0 Q&A 8456 Views Mar 5, 2016
The DNA molecule is exposed to a multitude of damaging agents that can compromise its integrity: single (SSB) and double strand breaks (DSB), intra- or inter-strand crosslinks, base loss or modification, etc. Many different DNA repair pathways coexist in the cell to ensure the stability of the DNA molecule. The nature of the DNA lesion will determine which set of proteins are needed to reconstitute the intact double stranded DNA molecule. Multiple and sequential enzymatic activities are required and the proteins responsible for those activities not only need to find the lesion to be repaired among the millions and millions of intact base pairs that form the genomic DNA but their activities have to be orchestrated to avoid the accumulation of toxic repair intermediates. For example, in the repair of Single Strand Breaks (SSB) the proteins PARP1, XRCC1, Polymerase Beta and Ligase III will be required and their activities coordinated to ensure the correct repair of the damage.

Furthermore, the DNA is not free in the nucleus but organized in the chromatin with different compaction levels. DNA repair proteins have therefore to deal with this nuclear organization to ensure an efficient DNA repair. A way to study the distribution of DNA repair proteins in the nucleus after damage induction is the use of the laser microirradiation with which a particular type of DNA damage can be induced in a localized region of the cell nucleus. The wavelength and the intensity of the laser used will determine the predominant type of damage that is induced. It is important to note that other lesions can also be generated at the microirradiated site.

Living cells transfected with the fluorescent protein XRCC1-GFP are micro-irradiated under a confocal microscope and the kinetics of recruitment of the fluorescent protein is followed during 1 min. In our protocol the 405 nm laser is used to induce SSB.
0 Q&A 8740 Views Aug 5, 2015
Over the last decades numerous regulators of angiogenesis have been identified and characterized. Among the others the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGFA) appears undoubtedly important in several pathophysiological processes. Moreover, VEGFA represents one of the most attractive targets of anticancer therapy, given its major role in the growth and development of different tumor types. Here we describe a method to detect the copy number variation (CNV) status of the VEGFA gene by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). FISH analysis is a reliable method for investigating VEGFA amplification or increased gene copy number and may represent an alternative method to immunohistochemical analysis for investigating the deregulation of VEGFA expression levels.
0 Q&A 14397 Views Jul 5, 2013
Homologous recombination deficiency, mainly resulted from BRCA1 or BRCA2 inactivation (so called BRCAness), is found in breast and ovarian cancers. Detection of actual inactivation of BRCA1/2 in a tumor is important for patients’ treatment and follow-up as it may help predicting response to DNA damaging agents and give indication Homologous recombination deficiency, mainly resulted from BRCA1 or BRCA2 inactivation (so called BRCAness), is found in breast and ovarian cancers. Detection of actual inactivation of BRCA1/2 in a tumor is important for pat for genetic testing. This protocol describes how to detect impairment of homologous recombination based on the tumor genomic profile measured by SNP-array. The proposed signature of BRCAness is related to the number of large-scale chromosomal breaks in a tumor genome calculated after filtering and smoothing small-scale alterations. The procedure strongly relies on good quality SNP-arrays preprocessed to absolute copy number and allelic content (allele-specific copy number) profiles. This genomic signature of homologous recombination deficiency was shown to be highly reliable in predicting BRCA1/2 inactivation in triple-negative breast carcinoma (97% accuracy; for more details, see Popova et al., 2012) and predictive of survival in ovarian carcinoma (unpublished data). Authors are grateful to Dominique Stoppa-Lyonnet, Anne Vincent-Salomon, Thierry Dubois, and Xavier Sastre-Garau for their contributions. (Patent was deposited: Reference number EP12305648.3, June 7, 2012)



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