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Issue 4, 2012
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Intracellular protein trafficking kinetics in chronic myeloid leukemia stem cells using a microfluidic platform

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Abstract

The oncogenic fusion protein BCR-ABL is produced by chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) cells and functions as an abnormal, constitutively active tyrosine kinase that interferes with normal migratory and apoptotic behaviour of cells. Small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), such as dasatinib, eliminate CML progenitor cells, but fail to target the stem cell fraction resulting in persistent disease. In order to achieve a cure for CML in the majority of patients, we need an improved understanding of intracellular signalling dynamics, including the shuttling of BCR-ABL between cytosolic and nuclear compartments. In the past, the instability of BCR-ABL in assays using conventional immunohistochemical techniques has made this difficult and has not allowed for reliable analysis at the single cell level. Here we show how the utilization of rapid on-chip cell fixation within a microfluidic platform provides a means to immunofluorescently analyze the spatiotemporal localization of both BCR-ABL and c-ABL, as well as the linked apoptosis mediator, BCL-XL, in arrays of single CD34+ CML stem/progenitor cells, without cell loss. We demonstrate this proceeds up to 4 times faster than benchtop methods. Our results indicate that whilst both BCR-ABL and c-ABL shuttle from the cytoplasm to the nucleus following dasatinib treatment, the temporal dynamics are not synchronized. The microfluidic platform has the potential to provide insights into the intracellular signalling events in single cells. The ability to examine signalling events and assess BCR-ABL expression/activity in isolated cells in “real-time” may help elucidate the characteristics of rare CML stem cell events, which lead to the resistance of CML stem cells to TKIs.

Graphical abstract: Intracellular protein trafficking kinetics in chronic myeloid leukemia stem cells using a microfluidic platform

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Aug 2011, accepted on 07 Feb 2012 and first published on 20 Feb 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2IB00086E
Citation: Integr. Biol., 2012,4, 368-373
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    Intracellular protein trafficking kinetics in chronic myeloid leukemia stem cells using a microfluidic platform

    S. Faley, M. Copland, J. Reboud and J. M. Cooper, Integr. Biol., 2012, 4, 368
    DOI: 10.1039/C2IB00086E

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