Cancer Biology


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0 Q&A 4044 Views Feb 5, 2021

Connexins are membrane bound proteins that facilitate direct and local paracrine mediated cell-to-cell communication through their ability to oligomerise into hexameric hemichannels. When neighbouring channels align, they form gap-junctions that provide a direct route for information transfer between cells. In contrast to intact gap junctions, which typically open under physiological conditions, undocked hemichannels have a low open probability and mainly open in response to injury. Hemichannels permit the release of small molecules and ions (approximately 1kDa) into the local intercellular environment, and excessive expression/activity has been linked to a number of disease conditions. Carboxyfluorescein dye uptake measures functional expression of hemichannels, where increased hemichannel activity/function reflects increased loading. The technique relies on the uptake of a membrane-impermeable fluorescent tracer through open hemichannels, and can be used to compare channel activity between cell monolayers cultured under different conditions, e.g. control versus disease. Other techniques, such as biotinylation and electrophysiology can measure cell surface expression and hemichannel open probability respectively, however, carboxyfluorescein uptake provides a simple, rapid and cost-effective method to determine hemichannel activity in vitro in multiple cell types.

Graphic abstract

Using dye uptake to measure hemichannel activity

0 Q&A 5333 Views Jan 5, 2021

The in vitro cell adhesion assay is a quantitative method for measuring selective cell adhesion to specific proteins. Traditionally, cell adhesion assays employ purified protein immobilized on a solid glass or plastic surface. Here, we describe a transient 293T cell transfection-based cell adhesion assay to study selective cell adhesion of a specific cell type to a protein of interest. In this protocol, 293T cells are transfected with a mammalian expression plasmid containing mSiglec1 cDNA or an empty plasmid as a mock control and are then cultured to form a monolayer. Subsequently, these Siglec1-expressing and mock-transfected 293T cell monolayers are used for cell adhesion assays with GFP-expressing B16F10 cells. The number of GFP+ cancer cells adhering to each 293T monolayer is a quantitative mean to compare the selective adhesiveness of cancer cells to Siglec1. This method eliminates the need to express and purify the protein of interest to perform in vitro cell adhesion assays and can easily be performed with difficult-to-purify proteins while maintaining their native in situ structure.

0 Q&A 9623 Views Oct 20, 2013
This method allows evaluating the relative adhesion strength between T lymphocytes and specific adherent target cells using a shear force in flow chambers. It is based on the measure of the resistance of conjugates formed between T cells and adherent tumor cells to shear stress in a microfluidic system. For this purpose, T cells, stained with a CellTracker probe, are added into flow channels containing a monolayer of adherent target cells and their progressive detachment under a constant shear stress is then recorded using a fluorescent microscope.

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