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J Histochem Cytochem. 2009 Jul;57(7):701-8. doi: 10.1369/jhc.2009.953547. Epub 2009 Mar 30.

Quantitative in situ detection of phosphoproteins in fixed tissues using quantum dot technology.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Pathology, L-11 Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.


Detection and quantitation of phosphoproteins (PPs) in fixed tissues will become increasingly important as additional inhibitors of protein kinases enter clinical use and new disease entities are defined by molecular changes affecting PP levels. We characterize fixation conditions suitable for accurate PP quantitation that are achievable in a clinical laboratory and illustrate the utility of in situ quantitation of PPs by quantum dot (QD) nanocrystals in two models: (1) a therapeutic model demonstrating effects of a targeted therapeutic (quantitative reduction of phospho-GSK3beta) in xenografts treated with enzastaurin; and (2) a diagnostic model that identifies elevated levels of nuclear phospho-STAT5 in routine bone marrow biopsies from patients with acute myeloid leukemia based on the presence of the activating FLT3-ITD mutation. Finally, we document production of a well-characterized tissue microarray of widely available cell lines as a multilevel calibrator for validating numerous phosphoprotein assays. QD immunofluorescence is an ideal method for in situ quantitation of PPs in fixed samples, providing valuable cell type-specific and subcellular information about pathway activation in primary tissues.

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