Document Detail

Ethidium bromide as a vital probe of mitochondrial DNA in carcinoma cells.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19640699     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The interaction of ethidium bromide (EB) with mitochondria in human breast and lung carcinoma cells was investigated under living conditions, employing a laser scanning confocal fluorescence microscopy (LSCFM) with a photon counting detection to reduce drastically the laser power excitation and the fluorescent probe concentration. In sensitive and multidrug-resistant MCF-7 cell lines, which are important model systems for the study of mitochondria in tumour cells, two distinct populations of mitochondria were observed, each characterised by a different EB fluorescence, membrane potential, cellular localisation and morphology. By image analysis, these peripheral mitochondria showed a peculiar morphology, consisting of punctuate organelles (0.8mum in size) organised in rosette-like assemblies. Unexpectedly, an intense EB fluorescence was observed in these mitochondria, indicating a high accessibility to EB of their mtDNA, which is likely to be in an active replicative or transcriptional state. These results might, therefore, suggest an active biogenesis and metabolism of the peripheral mitochondria that could be a consequence of the increased energetic needs of the cells, after their tumour transformation. Indeed, the pool of peripheral mitochondria, as well as their peculiar morphology and spatial organisation, was found to be a characteristic feature of all the carcinoma cells examined here, but not of their non-transformed parental MCF10A cells.
Anna Maria Villa; Silvia Maria Doglia
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2009-07-27
Journal Detail:
Title:  European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990)     Volume:  45     ISSN:  1879-0852     ISO Abbreviation:  Eur. J. Cancer     Publication Date:  2009 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-09-01     Completed Date:  2009-10-28     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9005373     Medline TA:  Eur J Cancer     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2588-97     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 2, 20126 Milan, Italy.
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MeSH Terms
Breast / ultrastructure
Breast Neoplasms / ultrasonography*
Calcium Channel Blockers / pharmacology
Cell Line, Tumor
DNA, Mitochondrial / ultrastructure
Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / drug effects
Ethidium / diagnostic use
Fluorescent Dyes / diagnostic use
Lung / ultrastructure
Lung Neoplasms / ultrastructure*
Microscopy, Confocal / methods
Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods
Mitochondria / ultrastructure*
Verapamil / pharmacology
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Calcium Channel Blockers; 0/DNA, Mitochondrial; 0/Fluorescent Dyes; 3546-21-2/Ethidium; 52-53-9/Verapamil

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