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Yale J Biol Med. 2012 Mar;85(1):29-35. Epub 2012 Mar 29.

pHLIP and acidity as a universal biomarker for cancer.

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Department of Biotechnology, Dongseo University, South Korea.


Of great importance to clinical cancer diagnosis is the use of organic biomarkers. The detection of RNA, DNA, and protein antigen are all established methods for identifying specific cancer types and instrumental in promoting greater survivorship of the patient. Despite many decades of intense cancer research, we have yet to identify a "universal" protein or nucleic acid that allows us to diagnose more than a small subset of cancers at a time. In this review, we examine the use of localized cellular acidity as a universal marker for solid tumors, outlining some successes with a small peptide we call pHLIP, a pH-sensitive biosensor that allows us to label tumor tissue in live mice.


arthritis; biomarker; biosensor; cancer; cell translocation; diagnosis; inflammation; pH; pHLIP

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