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Assay development for in situ detection of autophagy-related protein-protein interactions for characterization of colorectal cancer
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Biology Education Centre.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Every year, more than a million people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer (CRC) that develops in the large intestine. It is one of the most studied cancers in the world but still more knowledge about how this cancer develops and acts is needed in order to use more effective ways to treat CRC. Autophagy is a vital mechanism in cells that is also suggested to maintain cancer cell survival. In normal cells, it plays an important role by removing damaged cells and organelles as well as eliminating pathogens. Under metabolic stress this mechanism is induced to provide enough nutrients and energy for the cell to survive. Cancer cells are exposed to greater environmental stress than normal cells and therefore, cancer cells exhibit higher levels of autophagy suggesting it to be a crucial mechanism for their survival. Gaining a deeper understanding of this essential mechanism and its activation might provide new insights and improved treatments for the fight against colorectal cancer. In situ Proximity Ligation Assay (PLA) is a protein detection method that enables sensitive and specific detection of proteins and protein-protein interactions (PPIs) in cell lines and tissue samples. The method uses simultaneous recognition of two independent antigens on a protein or protein complex together with a rolling circle amplification (RCA) to form a rolling circle product (RCP) on top of the target. By using fluorescent oligonucleotides, RCP can be visualized and is seen as a bright spot that enables sensitive detection of the target at single-molecule resolution. The aim of this study was to develop assays to detect endogenous molecular events known to be biomarkers of autophagy in situ in order to study autophagy mechanism in CRC patient samples. We focused our research on two PPIs that were known to interact when autophagy is induced. The first investigated interaction was between microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B- light chain 3 (LC3) and sequestome-1 (SQSTM1), an interaction that occurs during autophagy initiation. The second interaction was between B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) and Bcl-2/adenovirus E1B 19-kDa interacting protein 3 (BNIP3) that takes place during hypoxia-induced autophagy. To study whether these PPIs can be used as a detection method to monitor autophagy, we used a well- established cell model based on serum starvation and CoCl2 - an hypoxic mimetic- treatment of the intestinal cancer cell line Caco-2 in comparison to normal culture condition. According to isPLA quantification, detection of both PPIs was distinctly higher in treated cells compared to untreated cells giving promising results and suggesting that they can be potentially used as suitable assays to monitor these biomarkers of autophagy. For development of an improved protein detection method that enables the study of several PPIs simultaneously in a tissue sample (In situ Multiplexing), we conjugated directly a short oligonucleotide strand to the primary antibodies. These formed proximity probes could later be used in in situ for multiplexing. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 31 p.
Keyword [en]
Autophagy, In situ Proximity Ligation Assay, Colorectal cancer
National Category
Other Medical Biotechnology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-254193OAI: diva2:817519
Educational program
Master Programme in Applied Biotechnology
Available from: 2015-06-08 Created: 2015-06-05 Last updated: 2015-06-08Bibliographically approved

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