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PLoS One. 2014 Jul 21;9(7):e102164. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102164. eCollection 2014.

Real-time imaging of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition using microRNA-200a sequence-based molecular beacon-conjugated magnetic nanoparticles.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Jongro-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea; Department of Radiology, Seoul National University Hospital, Jongro-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
2
Department of Radiology, Seoul National University Hospital, Jongro-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea; The Institute of Radiation Medicine, Medical Research Center, Seoul National University, Jongro-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
3
Department of Radiology, Seoul National University Hospital, Jongro-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
4
Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Biomedical Sciences, CHA University, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
5
Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Jongro-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea; Department of Radiology, Seoul National University Hospital, Jongro-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea; The Institute of Radiation Medicine, Medical Research Center, Seoul National University, Jongro-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays important roles in tumor progression to metastasis. Thus, the development of an imaging probe that can monitor transient periods of the EMT process in live cells is required for a better understanding of metastatic process. Inspired by the fact that the mRNA expression levels of zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1) increase when cells adopt mesenchyme characteristics and that microRNA-200a (miR-200a) can bind to ZEB1 mRNA, we conjugated molecular beacon (MB) mimicking mature miR-200a to magnetic nanoparticles (miR-200a-MB-MNPs) and devised an imaging method to observe transitional changes in the cells during EMT. Transforming growth factor-β1 treated epithelial cells and breast cancer cell lines representing both epithelial and mesenchymal phenotypes were used for the validation of miR-200a-MB-MNPs as an EMT imaging probe. The real-time imaging of live cells acquired with the induction of EMT revealed an increase in fluorescence signals by miR-200a-MB-MNPs, cell morphology alterations, and the loss of cell-cell adhesion. Our results suggest that miR-200a-MB-MNPs can be used as an imaging probe for the real-time monitoring of the EMT process in live cells.

PMID:
25048580
PMCID:
PMC4105468
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0102164
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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