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J Vis Exp. 2012 Aug 27;(66):e4119. doi: 10.3791/4119.

Quantitative measurement of invadopodia-mediated extracellular matrix proteolysis in single and multicellular contexts.

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1
Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Program in Cancer Cell Biology, Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, West Virginia University, USA.

Abstract

Cellular invasion into local tissues is a process important in development and homeostasis. Malregulated invasion and subsequent cell movement is characteristic of multiple pathological processes, including inflammation, cardiovascular disease and tumor cell metastasis. Focalized proteolytic degradation of extracellular matrix (ECM) components in the epithelial or endothelial basement membrane is a critical step in initiating cellular invasion. In tumor cells, extensive in vitro analysis has determined that ECM degradation is accomplished by ventral actin-rich membrane protrusive structures termed invadopodia. Invadopodia form in close apposition to the ECM, where they moderate ECM breakdown through the action of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). The ability of tumor cells to form invadopodia directly correlates with the ability to invade into local stroma and associated vascular components. Visualization of invadopodia-mediated ECM degradation of cells by fluorescent microscopy using dye-labeled matrix proteins coated onto glass coverslips has emerged as the most prevalent technique for evaluating the degree of matrix proteolysis and cellular invasive potential. Here we describe a version of the standard method for generating fluorescently-labeled glass coverslips utilizing a commercially available Oregon Green-488 gelatin conjugate. This method is easily scaled to rapidly produce large numbers of coated coverslips. We show some of the common microscopic artifacts that are often encountered during this procedure and how these can be avoided. Finally, we describe standardized methods using readily available computer software to allow quantification of labeled gelatin matrix degradation mediated by individual cells and by entire cellular populations. The described procedures provide the ability to accurately and reproducibly monitor invadopodia activity, and can also serve as a platform for evaluating the efficacy of modulating protein expression or testing of anti-invasive compounds on extracellular matrix degradation in single and multicellular settings.

PMID:
22952016
PMCID:
PMC3606055
DOI:
10.3791/4119
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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