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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Bioorthogonal chemical imaging of metabolic changes during epithelial–mesenchymal transition of cancer cells by stimulated Raman scattering microscopy
Author(s): Luyuan Zhang; Wei Min
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Paper Abstract

Study of metabolic changes during epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) of cancer cells is important for basic understanding and therapeutic management of cancer progression. We here used metabolic labeling and stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy, a strategy of bioorthogonal chemical imaging, to directly visualize changes in anabolic metabolism during cancer EMT at a single-cell level. MCF-7 breast cancer cell is employed as a model system. Four types of metabolites (amino acids, glucose, fatty acids, and choline) are labeled with either deuterium or alkyne ( C C ) tag. Their intracellular incorporations into MCF-7 cells before or after EMT are visualized by SRS imaging targeted at the signature vibration frequency of C-D or C C bonds. Overall, after EMT, anabolism of amino acids, glucose, and choline is less active, reflecting slower protein and membrane synthesis in mesenchymal cells. Interestingly, we also observed less incorporation of glucose and palmitate acids into membrane lipids, but more of them into lipid droplets in mesenchymal cells. This result indicates that, although mesenchymal cells synthesize fewer membrane lipids, they are actively storing energy into lipid droplets, either through de novo lipogenesis from glucose or direct scavenging of exogenous free fatty acids. Hence, metabolic labeling coupled with SRS can be a straightforward method in imaging cancer metabolism.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 October 2017
PDF: 7 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 22(10) 106010 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.22.10.106010
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 22, Issue 10
Show Author Affiliations
Luyuan Zhang, Columbia Univ. (United States)
Wei Min, Columbia Univ. (United States)
The Kavli Institute for Brain Science at Columbia Univ. (United States)

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