drug resistance

DNA Repair Pathway Factors in Cell-Based Screening for Restoring Patients’ Sensitivity to Cancer Therapies

Cancers undergoing therapies may develop resistance to treatment. Many current cancer treatments, such as cisplatin, function by creating DNA damage, particularly to fast-dividing cells, i.e., most cancer cells. These treatments may be rendered ineffective by DNA-damage response pathways. Cancer resistance to therapies may come from increased activity in nonhomologous end joining, decreased functions of mismatch repair, or reactivation of the Fanconi anemia (FA)/BRCA DNA-damage response pathway, etc. Ironically the loss of function of some of these DNA-damage repair factors may have partially caused the cancer formation in the first place. Regaining their functions in cancer cells possibly contribute to drug resistance. Molecules that disrupt FA/BRCA pathway or other DNA-damage responses could be used to help restore therapy sensitivity.

Like many proteins that function in DNA-damage repair complexes, FANCD2, a member of the FA pathway factor group, is targeted towards chromatin following damage to DNA in a process called foci formation. There have been recent studies that monitored the foci formation of GFP-FANCD2 in small molecule library screening and identified inhibitors to FANCD2 as candidates for a cancer therapy sensitizer. The assays can be improved in a number of ways. There are fluorescent proteins (FPs) that are much brighter than EGFP for increased sensitivity. For instance, the monomeric green FP mWasabi is about 2-3 fold brighter than EGFP, with narrower emission peak, and is more stable under acidic environment. The newly developed lancelet YFP (LanYFP, developed/introduced by Allele Biotech) is astonishingly 10 times brighter than EGFP. Since it has a longer excitation and emission wavelength, it should inherently have a better signal to noise/background ratio compared to EGFP because cells autofluoresce less in long wavelengths. The improved brightness would also help in this respect. The fold difference between foci and LanYFP background will be the same as EGFP, but the contrast will still probably be better because of less autofluorescent background and significantly higher fluorescence reading in foci.

Other factors that may be used as a screening target when fused to effective FPs may probably include:

1) Homologous recombination (HR)
a. End Resection
MRN complex (MRE11, RAD50, NBS1)
b. Synapsis
c. DNA synthesis
DNA polymerase delta, PCNA

2) Nonhomologous End Joining (NHEJ)
Ku70/Ku80, DNA-PK, Ligase IV, XRCC4, XLF

3) Fanconi Anemia Pathway

    New Product of the Week 101110-101710:

Puromycin-resistant versions of lanRFP (red fluorescent protein from lancelet) for mammalian expression, just became available this week. ABP-FP-RCNCS1P, ABP-FP-RNNCS1P

    Promotion of the Week 101110-101710:

30% off the brightest ever lancelet YFP, ABP-FP-YPNCS10, $349 reduced to $244.3 for this week’s orders only.

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Wednesday, October 13th, 2010 Fluorescent proteins 1 Comment

Using 2A “self-cleaving” peptide in bicistronic mammalian expression

Multiple promoters or internal ribosomal entry sites (IRES) have been used for the production of multiple proteins from the same vector. Potential drawbacks with multiple promoters on viral vectors include unstable genome and interference between promoters. IRES is a relatively large sequence that can cause problems in virus packaging, especially for viruses with very limited genome size such as AAV. In addition, it is required that the start of the second ORF is fairly close to the IRES, adding difficulties to cloning.

2A or 2A-like peptide (collectively called 2A peptide here) is used by several families of viruses, the best known foot-and-mouth disease virus of the Picornaviridae family, for producing multiple polypeptides. Although called a “self-cleaving” peptide or protease site, the mechanism by the 2A sequence for generating two proteins from one transcript is by ribosome skipping–a normal peptide bond is impaired at 2A, resulting in two discontinuous protein fragments from one translation even.

The 2A-based bicistronic expression has been used for several years, but recently gained much more popularity due to its successful use in iPSC generation that required 2 to 4 factors working in concert. Even expression of all factors can be achieved when 2A peptides are used for multiple protein production, due to near 100% efficiency of the 2A “cleavage” at each site, and no interference between multiple 2A sites. Early work used a 36 amino acid sequence as 2A peptide, which was later reduced to about half that size from mutation and screening. Commercial vectors utilizing 2A for co-expression of cDNA and fluorescent protein and/or drug resistance genes have not been available until now. Allele Biotech has introduced a number of such plasmids, establishing another First-to-the-market as it has done many times previously in its 10 year history.

    New product of the week 03-29-10 to 04-04-10:

Alleleustrious pmTFP1-2A Bicistronic mammalian expression vector, ABP-FP-T2A10, $399, http://www.allelebiotech.com/shopcart/index.php?c=215&sc=34

    Promotion of the week 03-29-10 to 04-04-10:

Buy any GFP-Trap beads or kits, get polyclonal anti-GFP (ABP-PAB-PAGFP10) at half size for FREE!  ***GFP-Trap has been replaced with GFP-nAb, an improved version for the same purposes in the form of agarose beads, magnetic beads, polyacrylamide beads, spin column kits, etc.  Come and take a look at the most comprehensive list of nearly all FPs before purchasing.

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