NIH Research Festival
Metallomics is the comprehensive study of metals within biological systems. Trace metals are essential for a variety of biological processes, and the deregulation of metals may contribute to diseases such as cancer. Until recently, studies of the cell metallome have been limited by the lack of technology able to comprehensively analyze all metals at low levels. Understanding the metallome of cells may prove to be a useful cancer biomarker, especially in cancers that have historically been diagnosed late stage like ovarian cancer. In this study, we explored the metallome of ovarian cancer cell lines in comparison to non-cancer ovarian cell lines. We analyzed the following metals by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS): Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), Nickel (Ni), Manganese (Mn), Molybdenum (Mo), Selenium (Se), Iron (Fe), Chromium (Cr), Vanadium (V), Magnesium (Mg), Calcium (Ca), Sulfur (S), and Phosphorous (P). Differences between the cancer and non-cancer metallomes were not due to the metal concentrations in the growth media. The cell metallome was further characterized at the level of the nucleus, mitochondria, and cytoplasm where we observed differences between cancer and non-cancer ovarian cell lines. Ovarian cancer cells have a distinguishable metallome identifiable at the subcellular level, which may contribute to their aberrant behavior and function. ICP-MS is a powerful tool for assessing the metallome of cells as well as other biological specimens.
Scientific Focus Area: Cancer Biology
This page was last updated on Friday, March 26, 2021