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Biomolecules 2013, 3(1), 180-197; doi:10.3390/biom3010180

Multi-Color Spectral Transcript Analysis (SPECTRA) for Phenotypic Characterization of Tumor Cells

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
Life Sciences Division, E.O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
Department of Pathology, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), CA 94143, USA
National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP), Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Tokyo 100-0005, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 January 2013 / Revised: 31 January 2013 / Accepted: 4 February 2013 / Published: 11 February 2013
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Many human tumors show significant changes in their signal transduction pathways and, thus, the way the cells interact with their environment. Often caused by chromosomal rearrangements, including gene amplifications, translocations or deletions, the altered levels of gene expression may provide a tumor-specific signature that can be exploited for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. We investigated the utility of multiplexed fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using non-isotopically labeled cDNA probes detected by Spectral Imaging as a sensitive and rapid procedure to measure tumor-specific gene expression signatures. We used a commercially available system to acquire and analyze multicolor FISH images. Initial investigations used panels of fluorescent calibration standards to evaluate the system. These experiments were followed by hybridization of five-to-six differently labeled cDNA probes, which target the transcripts of tyrosine kinase genes known to be differently expressed in normal cells and tumors of the breast or thyroid gland. The relatively simple, yet efficient, molecular cytogenetic method presented here may find many applications in characterization of solid tumors or disseminated tumor cells. Addressing tumor heterogeneity by means of multi-parameter single cell analyses is expected to enable a wide range of investigations in the areas of tumor stem cells, tumor clonality and disease progression.
Keywords: cancer; gene expression; tyrosine kinase; fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH); spectral imaging cancer; gene expression; tyrosine kinase; fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH); spectral imaging

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hsu, J.H.; Weier, J.F.; Weier, H.-U.G.; Ito, Y. Multi-Color Spectral Transcript Analysis (SPECTRA) for Phenotypic Characterization of Tumor Cells. Biomolecules 2013, 3, 180-197.

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