University of Illinois at Chicago
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Normal To Tumor-like Cell Transition

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posted on 2012-01-05, 00:00 authored by Yu Zheng
My research focuses on the role of protein tyrosine kinase 6 (PTK6) in different aspects of cancer. Here is an image taken under fluorescence microscope, with DAPI staining (Blue) showing the nuclei of each BPH1 cell. BPH1 is a human benign prostatic hyperplasia cell line which is close to human normal prostate epithelia cell. A marker of epithelial cells, E-cadherin (Red) was detected in the cell membrane between cell-cell contacts. When membrane targeted PTK6 was expressed in BPH1 cells, it induced the formation of peripheral adhesion complexes (Green, visualized by phospho-tyrosine staining) around cell membrane. Interestingly, these “green” cells showed a remarkable loss of E-cadherin (Red). This phenomenon is called epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in biological terms, which is an important factor in human tumor progression. In other words, red cells represents normal cells and green cells represents tumor-like cells; membrane targeted PTK6 induces normal prostate cells to become tumor-like cells.


University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate College


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Entry 2011 in The Image of Research, a competition for students in graduate or professional degree programs at UIC, sponsored by UIC's Graduate College and the University Library. Images of award recipients and honorable mention images on exhibition in the Richard J. Daley Library, April 13-May 30, 2011.

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