The assay described here allows a direct comparison of centrosome function (i.e., MT nucleation capacity) between normal and tumor tissues. It can be applied to samples such as human tissues in which the materials are limited. The assay is rapid and uses equipment commonly available. Comparision of the ability of individual centrosomes to nucleate microtubules within the context of tissues can provide novel insight into the disease process itself. In the example shown here, tumor tissues nucleate significantly greater numbers of microtubules from single or amplified centrosomes in comparison to normal tissue. The increased microtubule nucleation capacity from multiple centrosomes seen in tumors may be related to the increased frequency of mitotic aberrations and to the loss of cell and tissue architecture that is seen in cancer. This assay can also be used to characterize the microtubule nucleation capacity of normal tissues, during development and aging, and in disease states other than cancer where microtubule dynamics may play an important role.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology