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Visualizing cancer therapy targets

  1. Top of page
  2. Visualizing cancer therapy targets
  3. Physiological model of glucose and lipid metabolism
  4. A screening tool for therapeutic antibodies

Osterwald et al., Biotechnol. J. 2012, 7, 103.

Cancer cells are able to maintain their proliferative potential through various mechanisms, one of which is known as the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) pathway. Using this pathway, cancer cells are able to retain the length of their telomeres and thus divide continuously. One of the distinct characteristics of the ALT pathway is the colocalization of promyelocytic leukemia (PML) nuclear bodies with telomeres to form ALT-associated PML nuclear bodies (APBs). In this issue, Rippe and colleagues report a cell-based assay with a fully automated high-resolution confocal screening platform for 3D colocalization studies to elucidate the genes involved in the pathway, by observing changes in APB formation. Not only does the study offer the opportunity to identify candidate targets for cancer therapy, it also provides additional tools for high-throughput screening of cellular colocalizations.

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Physiological model of glucose and lipid metabolism

  1. Top of page
  2. Visualizing cancer therapy targets
  3. Physiological model of glucose and lipid metabolism
  4. A screening tool for therapeutic antibodies

Vinci et al., Biotechnol. J. 2012, 7, 117.

One of the challenges in understanding human physiology is a lack of relevant model systems. Many studies have clearly demonstrated that while animal models provide some insight, it nevertheless is a poor substitute for the real thing. The static and 2D nature of most in vitro cultures is also widely acknowledged to be highly artificial. In this issue, Ahluwalia and colleagues come a step closer to mimicking the human system with a multicompartmental modular bioreactor (MCmB) that reproduces the salient aspects of glucose and lipid metabolism in vitro. The MCmB consists of different bioreactor chambers connected together by the flow of media – it is the first example of an in-vitro model of glucose and lipid metabolism and paves the way for further and detailed studies.

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A screening tool for therapeutic antibodies

  1. Top of page
  2. Visualizing cancer therapy targets
  3. Physiological model of glucose and lipid metabolism
  4. A screening tool for therapeutic antibodies

Kayser et al., Biotechnol. J. 2012, 7, 127.

The development of bio-therapeutics is a long and winding road that is dependent on many variables along the way. One of these factors is the stability of a protein and its propensity for forming aggregates. Aggregrates, however little the amount present, is highly undesirable due to decreased biological activity of the protein, and also its potential to trigger unintended immune responses. A current standard method of analyzing protein stability and aggregate formation is size-exclusion chromatography (SEC). SEC however, has several drawbacks such as its inability to detect conformational differences, etc. In this issue, Trout and colleagues report a novel screening tool based on dye (i.e., thioflavin T (ThT))-binding properties. ThT binds nonspecifically to β-sheet-rich amyloid-type protein aggregates. The major advantage of ThT binding is the short duration of testing compared to SEC – results can be obtained within days as opposed to months.

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