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Discrepancies between metabolic activity and DNA content as tool to assess cell proliferation in cancer research

Quent, Verena M.C., Loessner, Daniela L., Friis, Thor E., Reichert, Johannes C., & Hutmacher, Dietmar W. (2010) Discrepancies between metabolic activity and DNA content as tool to assess cell proliferation in cancer research. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, 14(4), pp. 1003-1013.

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Abstract

Cell proliferation is a critical and frequently studied feature of molecular biology in cancer research. Therefore, various assays are available using different strategies to measure cell proliferation. Metabolic assays such as AlamarBlue, WST-1, and MTT, which were originally developed to determine cell toxicity, are being used to assess cell numbers. Additionally, proliferative activity can be determined by quantification of DNA content using fluorophores, such as CyQuant and PicoGreen. Referring to data published in high ranking cancer journals, 945 publications applied these assays over the past 14 years to examine the proliferative behaviour of diverse cell types. Within this study, mainly metabolic assays were used to quantify changes in cell growth yet these assays may not accurately reflect cellular proliferation rates due to a miscorrelation of metabolic activity and cell number. Testing this hypothesis, we compared metabolic activity of different cell types, human cancer cells and primary cells, over a time period of 4 days using AlamarBlue and fluorometric assays CyQuant and PicoGreen to determine their DNA content. Our results show certain discrepancies in terms of over-estimation of cell proliferation with respect to the metabolic assay in comparison to DNA binding fluorophores.

Impact and interest:

16 citations in Scopus
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13 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 31242
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: cell proliferation, metabolic activity , proliferation assay , DNA content , cancer cells
DOI: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2010.01013.x
ISSN: 1582-4934
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000) > BIOCHEMISTRY AND CELL BIOLOGY (060100) > Cell Development Proliferation and Death (060103)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Past > Schools > School of Engineering Systems
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 The Authors Journal compilation Copyright 2010 Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine/Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Deposited On: 11 Mar 2010 08:56
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2013 11:58

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