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YSI 2900 Measures Glutamine in Cancer Research

The YSI 2900 Biochemical Analyser is an effective tool in the investigation of tumour cell growth in cell culture and the development of different drug treatments.

The possible targeting of different cancers according to their altered metabolism is an exciting area for drug development. The idea that cancerous cells can adjust their metabolism, to enable them to proliferate faster and survive, was introduced by Otto Warburg in 1924, when he found that cancer cells produced more energy from glycolysis than normal cells.

The discovery won him the Nobel Prize. The full extent of the ‘Warburg Effect’ is still being worked out and the possibility that each tumour has its own metabolic signature continues to be a productive research area. For some cancers, including pancreatic cancer and glioblastoma, glumatine seems to be their primary energy source.

Breast cancer appears to get some energy from glutamine but more from glycolysis. Glutamine inhibitors therefore have been shown in both the laboratory, and in clinical trials, to be suitable drugs for treating some cancers.

Aggressive late-stage ovarian cancer cells are glutamine-dependent, and depriving such cells of external sources of glutamine, by the use of experimental drugs, has been found to be an effective way to kill these cells.

Poorly aggressive ovarian cancer cells by comparison appear to produce a significant amount of the glutamine they require within the cell and thus require a different approach to treatment. This suggests a multi-drug cocktail approach may be required It also suggests that the ratio of glutamine uptake to glutamine synthesis could be an important diagnostic tool for ovarian cancer.

It has been proposed that in addition to acting as a vital energy source for the cancer cells, glutamine may also fight acid that could kill the cells, by releasing alkaline ammonia as part of cells enzymatic activity. It is clear then that monitoring glutamine levels, alongside those of glucose, lactate and ammonium is a priority for all cell culture work involving cancerous cells.

This is where the YSI 2900 Biochemical Analyser comes into its own. It is fast, reliable and above all accurate, providing results on these and other chemistries in less than one minute. Up to six compatible chemistries can be run at any one time and online automatic monitoring for two chemistries is also available using the 2900M Online Monitoring and Control System.

Date added: 2015-05-25 15:31:30