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BMC Cancer  2010 

Phenotyping breast cancer cell lines EM-G3, HCC1937, MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 using 2-D electrophoresis and affinity chromatography for glutathione-binding proteins

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-10-449

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We compared the phenotypes of breast cell lines EM-G3, HCC1937, MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 using 2-D electrophoresis (2-DE). We further separated GSH-binding proteins from the cell lines using affinity chromatography with GSH-Sepharose 4B, performed 2-DE analysis and identified the main protein spots.Correlation coefficients among 2-DE gels from the cell lines were lower than 0.65, pointing to dissimilarity among the cell lines. Differences in primary constituents of the cytoskeleton were shown by the 2-D protein maps and western blots. The spot patterns in gels of GSH-binding fractions from primary carcinoma-derived cell lines HCC1937 and EM-G3 were similar to each other, and they differed from the spot patterns of cell lines MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 that were derived from pleural effusions of metastatic mammary carcinoma patients. Major differences in the expression of GST P1-1 and carbonyl reductase [NADPH] 1 were observed among the cell lines, indicating differential abilities of the cell lines to metabolize xenobiotics.Our results confirmed the applicability of targeted affinity chromatography to proteome profiling and allowed us to characterize the phenotypes of four breast cancer cell lines.Cell lines provide indispensable tools in many aspects of laboratory research, particularly as in vitro models for cancer research. About 6,500 new articles related to cancer are retrieved every 30 days in PubMed, and nearly 2,000 articles are retrieved with the key word 'cell line'.Despite these advantages, the use of cell lines in cancer research is also disputatious [1]. A common argument for this is that cell lines are not representative of the actual tumor diversity and heterogeneity [2].It should be stressed that the use of different cancer cell lines without considering their unique phenotypes is a common problem neglected by many investigators. For some in vitro applications (such as toxicological assessments), it is essential to know the exact differentiation state and functi


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