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J Vis Exp. 2015 May 20;(99):e52727. doi: 10.3791/52727.

Utilization of the Soft Agar Colony Formation Assay to Identify Inhibitors of Tumorigenicity in Breast Cancer Cells.

Author information

1
Department of Baker Institute for Animal Health, Cornell University.
2
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University.
3
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School.
4
Department of Baker Institute for Animal Health, Cornell University; sac269@cornell.edu.

Abstract

Given the inherent difficulties in investigating the mechanisms of tumor progression in vivo, cell-based assays such as the soft agar colony formation assay (hereafter called soft agar assay), which measures the ability of cells to proliferate in semi-solid matrices, remain a hallmark of cancer research. A key advantage of this technique over conventional 2D monolayer or 3D spheroid cell culture assays is the close mimicry of the 3D cellular environment to that seen in vivo. Importantly, the soft agar assay also provides an ideal tool to rigorously test the effects of novel compounds or treatment conditions on cell proliferation and migration. Additionally, this assay enables the quantitative assessment of cell transformation potential within the context of genetic perturbations. We recently identified peptidylarginine deiminase 2 (PADI2) as a potential breast cancer biomarker and therapeutic target. Here we highlight the utility of the soft agar assay for preclinical anti-cancer studies by testing the effects of the PADI inhibitor, BB-Cl-amidine (BB-CLA), on the tumorigenicity of human ductal carcinoma in situ (MCF10DCIS) cells.

PMID:
26067809
PMCID:
PMC4542786
DOI:
10.3791/52727
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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