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Evaluation of glycophenotype in breast cancer by quantum dot-lectin histochemistry

Authors Andrade C, Cabral Filho P, Tenorio D, Santos B, Beltrão E, Fontes A, Carvalho Junior L

Received 5 July 2013

Accepted for publication 24 August 2013

Published 2 December 2013 Volume 2013:8(1) Pages 4623—4629


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Camila G Andrade,1 Paulo E Cabral Filho,2 Denise PL Tenório,3 Beate S Santos,4 Eduardo IC Beltrão,1 Adriana Fontes,2 Luiz B Carvalho Jr1

1Keizo Asami Immunopathology Laboratory, 2Biophysics and Radiobiology Department, 3Fundamental Chemistry Department, 4Pharmaceutical Science Department, Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil

Abstract: Cell surface glycoconjugates play an important role in differentiation/dedifferentiation processes and lectins are employed to evaluate them by several methodologies. Fluorescent probes are considered a valuable tool because of their ability to provide a particular view, and are more detailed and sensitive in terms of cell structure and molecular content. The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the expression and distribution of glycoconjugates in normal human breast tissue, and benign (fibroadenoma), and malignantly transformed (invasive ductal carcinoma) breast tissues. For this, we used mercaptosuccinic acid-coated Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) quantum dots (QDs) conjugated with concanavalin A (Con A) or Ulex europaeus agglutinin I (UEA I) lectins to detect α-D-glucose/mannose and L-fucose residues, respectively. The QD-lectin conjugates were evaluated by hemagglutination activity tests and carbohydrate inhibition assays, and were found to remain functional, keeping their fluorescent properties and carbohydrate recognition ability. Fluorescence images showed that different regions of breast tissue expressed particular types of carbohydrates. While the stroma was preferentially and intensely stained by QD-Con A, ductal cells were preferentially labeled by QD-UEA I. These results indicate that QD-lectin conjugates can be used as molecular probes and can help to elucidate the glycoconjugate profile in biological processes.

Keywords: nanoparticles, concanavalin A, Ulex europaeus, carbohydrates, mammary tissues

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