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Lab Invest. 2005 Nov;85(11):1416-28.

A nondestructive molecule extraction method allowing morphological and molecular analyses using a single tissue section.

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Department of Scientific Laboratories, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC 20306-6000, USA.


In clinical practice, molecular analysis of tumor specimens is often restricted by available technology for sample preparation. Virtually all current methods require homogenization of tissues for molecule extraction. We have developed a simple, rapid, nondestructive molecule extraction (NDME) method to extract proteins and nucleic acids directly from a single fixed or frozen tissue section without destroying the tissue morphology. The NDME method is based upon exposure of micron-thick tissue section to extraction buffer with the help of heating and/or intact physical forces (ultrasound and microwave) to facilitate release of macromolecules into the buffer. The extracted proteins and nucleic acids can be used directly without further purification for downstream SDS-PAGE analysis, immunoblotting, protein array, mass spectra protein profiling, PCR, and RT-PCR reactions. Most importantly, the NDME procedure also serves as an antigen retrieval treatment, so that after NDME, the same tissue section can be used for histopathological analyses, such as H&E staining, immunohistochemistry, and in situ hybridization. Thus, the NDME method allows, for the first time, both histological diagnosis and molecular analysis on a single tissue section, whether it is from frozen or fixed tissue specimens.

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