NIH Research Festival
Trace metals play an important role in various biological processes, functioning as both essential nutritional components but as toxins as well. Maintaining a balance of metals is important for health and the prevention of diseases, such as cancer. Metallomics is the comprehensive study of all the metals and elements within biological specimens, such as cells or tissues. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is a useful tool to simultaneously measure multiple elements at a wide concentration range-all the way down to the parts per trillion (ppt) level. Here, we show two examples of cancer metallomics: a comparison of the metalome between ovarian cancer cell lines and the response of the metalome after cisplatin treatment. Cells were lysed, protein quantitated, and digested with nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide for analyses. The following elements were analyzed by ICP-MS using different reaction modes to remove interferences: copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese, platinum, calcium, selenium, iron, chromium, vanadium, molybdenum, phosphorous, and sulfur. Element concentrations were normalized to protein concentrations to account for differences in cell number. We observed differences in the metalome between cells with different cisplatin sensitivities and a difference in the metalome after cisplatin treatment. The data suggest cancer cells have a distinctive metal signature, which may correlate with cisplatin resistance status. Using ICP-MS, we can begin to understand the metal landscape within cancer allowing for the potential identification of biomarkers as well as the ability to measure harmful metal environmental exposures in patient populations.
Scientific Focus Area: Cancer Biology
This page was last updated on Friday, March 26, 2021