The study of oxidative stress of cancer cells in culture is made possible through the advent of a number of redox responsive fluorescent proteins and dyes. We are working with cells expressing roGFP2 variants (including –Grx1 and –Orp1, courtesy of Tobias Dick) to study the effects of antioxidant capacity and oxidative stress on drug response and resistance. These “smart” fluorescent proteins give a reactive and responsive readout to changes in glutathione and hydrogen peroxide respectively, using multi-wavelength fluorescence excitation. Long-term experiments (up to 72 h) with laser confocal microscopy are enabled by imaging chambers that maintain temperature, humidity and atmosphere compatible with cell culture.
In addition to the studies of fluorescence in cell culture, we are advancing near-infrared endoscopy techniques to allow early detection of cancer based on intrinsic contrast and applied fluorescent contrast agents in the gastrointestinal tract.
Fiona Morgan, Judith Weber, Dale Waterhouse, Ben Woodhams, Dr Jakub Surmacki, Dr Laura Bollepalli.
Dr Massi di Pietro, Prof. Rebecca Fitzgerald (MRC Cancer Unit, University of Cambridge); Dr Andre Neves, Prof. Kevin Brindle (CRUK CI).