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Abigail D. Bellis, Beatriz Peñalver Bernabé, Michael S. Weiss, Seungjin Shin, Stanley Weng, Linda J. Broadbelt and Lonnie D. Shea Dynamic transcription factor activity profiling in 2D and 3D cell cultures Biotechnology and Bioengineering 110

Article first published online: 18 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/bit.24718

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Differences between 2D and 3D cell culture systems has been previously reported. Cells cultured in 3D interact and remodel their microenvironment and can develop into complex structures that resemble the observed in vivo phenotypes. Cells cultured in 2D are not always able to recapitulate them, yet 2D cell culture is considered to be a standard technique for cellular analysis, and is a simpler technique for other applications (i.e., therapeutic compound screening). Bellis and coworkers have employed their new technique to determine some of the cellular signaling processes that might be leading to the observed differences between 2D and 3D cell culture outcomes. Their developed transcription factor (TF) activity array uses bioluminescence imaging (BLI) that can monitor the cellular processes for longer culture periods of time while the cells are alive. The array captured expected changes in TF activity to stimuli, and it also provided dynamic profiles within 2D and 3D that have not been previously characterized. The development of the technology to dynamically track TF activity within cells cultured in both 2D and 3D can provide greater understanding of complex cellular processes, such a tissue development and disease progression.

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