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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (5)
Articles by Amber Ablack in JoVE
Evaluation of Nanoparticle Uptake in Tumors in Real Time Using Intravital Imaging
Choi-Fong Cho1, Amber Ablack2, Hon-Sing Leong2, Andries Zijlstra3, John Lewis2,4
1Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Western Ontario, 2London Regional Cancer Program, London Health Science Centre, 3Department of Pathology, Vanderbilt University, 4Translational Prostate Cancer Research Group, London Health Science Centre
We present a novel approach to quantify nanoparticle localization in the vasculature of human xenografted tumors using dynamic, real-time intravital imaging in an avian embryo model.
Other articles by Amber Ablack on PubMed
Nature Protocols. Aug, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20671724
Viral nanoparticles are a novel class of biomolecular agents that take advantage of the natural circulatory and targeting properties of viruses to allow the development of therapeutics, vaccines and imaging tools. We have developed a multivalent nanoparticle platform based on the cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV) that facilitates particle labeling at high density with fluorescent dyes and other functional groups. Compared with other technologies, CPMV-based viral nanoparticles are particularly suited for long-term intravital vascular imaging because of their biocompatibility and retention in the endothelium with minimal side effects. The stable, long-term labeling of the endothelium allows the identification of vasculature undergoing active remodeling in real time. In this study, we describe the synthesis, purification and fluorescent labeling of CPMV nanoparticles, along with their use for imaging of vascular structure and for intravital vascular mapping in developmental and tumor angiogenesis models. Dye-labeled viral nanoparticles can be synthesized and purified in a single day, and imaging studies can be conducted over hours, days or weeks, depending on the application.
Nanomedicine (London, England). Feb, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21385137
Vimentin, a type III intermediate filament, is upregulated during epithelial-mesenchymal transition and tumor progression. Vimentin is surface-expressed on cells involved in inflammation; the function remains unknown. We investigated the expression of surface vimentin on cancer cells and evaluated targeting nanoparticles to tumors exploiting vimentin.
Laboratory Investigation; a Journal of Technical Methods and Pathology. Aug, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21502940
Maspin (mammary serine protease inhibitor or SerpinB5) acts as a tumor suppressor when overexpressed in aggressive cancer cell lines. However, its role in human cancer is controversial. Maspin expression has been associated with a poor prognosis in some studies, whereas in others, with favorable outcome. The clinical data suggest, however, that nuclear-localized maspin is associated with improved survival. We hypothesized that the tumor suppressor activity of maspin may require nuclear localization, and that the discordance between clinical and experimental reports is a consequence of the variable subcellular distribution of maspin. Furthermore, we surmized that nuclear maspin could function as a tumor suppressor through the regulation of genes involved in tumor growth and invasion. Maspin or maspin fused to a nuclear export signal were expressed in metastatic human breast and epidermoid carcinoma cell lines. We found that pan-cellular localized maspin inhibited in vivo tumor growth and metastasis when assessed in xenograft chicken embryo and murine mammary fat pad injection models. However, when maspin was excluded from the nucleus via a nuclear exclusion signal, it no longer functioned as a metastasis suppressor. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation, we show that nuclear maspin was enriched at the promoter of colony-stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1) and associated with diminished levels of CSF-1 mRNA. Our findings demonstrate that the nuclear localization of maspin is required for its tumor and metastasis suppressor functions in vivo, and suggest that its mechanism of action involves, in part, direct association of maspin with target genes.
Intravital Imaging of Human Prostate Cancer Using Viral Nanoparticles Targeted to Gastrin-releasing Peptide Receptors
Small (Weinheim an Der Bergstrasse, Germany). Jun, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21520408
Multivalent nanoparticles have several key advantages in terms of solubility, binding avidity, and uptake, making them particularly well suited to molecular imaging applications. Herein is reported the stepwise synthesis and characterization of NIR viral nanoparticles targeted to gastrin-releasing peptide receptors that are over-expressed in human prostate cancers. The pan-bombesin analogue, [β-Ala11, Phe13, Nle14]bombesin-(7-14), is conjugated to cowpea mosaic virus particles functionalized with an NIR dye (Alexa Fluor 647) and polyethylene glycol (PEG) using the copper(I)-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition reaction. Targeting and uptake in human PC-3 prostate cells is demonstrated in vitro. Tumor homing is observed using human prostate tumor xenografts on the chicken chorioallantoic membrane model using intravital imaging. Further development of this viral nanoparticle platform may open the door to potential clinical noninvasive molecular imaging strategies.
PloS One. 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22276156
The analysis of dynamic events in the tumor microenvironment during cancer progression is limited by the complexity of current in vivo imaging models. This is coupled with an inability to rapidly modulate and visualize protein activity in real time and to understand the consequence of these perturbations in vivo. We developed an intravital imaging approach that allows the rapid induction and subsequent depletion of target protein levels within human cancer xenografts while assessing the impact on cell behavior and morphology in real time. A conditionally stabilized fluorescent E-cadherin chimera was expressed in metastatic breast cancer cells, and the impact of E-cadherin induction and depletion was visualized using real-time confocal microscopy in a xenograft avian embryo model. We demonstrate the assessment of protein localization, cell morphology and migration in cells undergoing epithelial-mesenchymal and mesenchymal-epithelial transitions in breast tumors. This technique allows for precise control over protein activity in vivo while permitting the temporal analysis of dynamic biophysical parameters.