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Vorinostat differentially alters 3D nuclear structure of cancer and non-cancerous esophageal cells

Description

The histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor vorinostat has received significant attention in recent years as an ‘epigenetic’ drug used to treat solid tumors. However, its mechanisms of action are not entirely

The histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor vorinostat has received significant attention in recent years as an ‘epigenetic’ drug used to treat solid tumors. However, its mechanisms of action are not entirely understood, particularly with regard to its interaction with the aberrations in 3D nuclear structure that accompany neoplastic progression. We investigated the impact of vorinostat on human esophageal epithelial cell lines derived from normal, metaplastic (pre-cancerous), and malignant tissue. Using a combination of novel optical computed tomography (CT)-based quantitative 3D absorption microscopy and conventional confocal fluorescence microscopy, we show that subjecting malignant cells to vorinostat preferentially alters their 3D nuclear architecture relative to non-cancerous cells. Optical CT (cell CT) imaging of fixed single cells showed that drug-treated cancer cells exhibit significant alterations in nuclear morphometry. Confocal microscopy revealed that vorinostat caused changes in the distribution of H3K9ac-marked euchromatin and H3K9me3-marked constitutive heterochromatin. Additionally, 3D immuno-FISH showed that drug-induced expression of the DNA repair gene MGMT was accompanied by spatial relocation toward the center of the nucleus in the nuclei of metaplastic but not in non-neoplastic cells. Our data suggest that vorinostat’s differential modulation of 3D nuclear architecture in normal and abnormal cells could play a functional role in its anti-cancer action.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-08-09

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Isotropic 3D Nuclear Morphometry of Normal, Fibrocystic and Malignant Breast Epithelial Cells Reveals New Structural Alterations

Description

Background
Grading schemes for breast cancer diagnosis are predominantly based on pathologists' qualitative assessment of altered nuclear structure from 2D brightfield microscopy images. However, cells are three-dimensional (3D) objects with

Background
Grading schemes for breast cancer diagnosis are predominantly based on pathologists' qualitative assessment of altered nuclear structure from 2D brightfield microscopy images. However, cells are three-dimensional (3D) objects with features that are inherently 3D and thus poorly characterized in 2D. Our goal is to quantitatively characterize nuclear structure in 3D, assess its variation with malignancy, and investigate whether such variation correlates with standard nuclear grading criteria.
Methodology
We applied micro-optical computed tomographic imaging and automated 3D nuclear morphometry to quantify and compare morphological variations between human cell lines derived from normal, benign fibrocystic or malignant breast epithelium. To reproduce the appearance and contrast in clinical cytopathology images, we stained cells with hematoxylin and eosin and obtained 3D images of 150 individual stained cells of each cell type at sub-micron, isotropic resolution. Applying volumetric image analyses, we computed 42 3D morphological and textural descriptors of cellular and nuclear structure.
Principal Findings
We observed four distinct nuclear shape categories, the predominant being a mushroom cap shape. Cell and nuclear volumes increased from normal to fibrocystic to metastatic type, but there was little difference in the volume ratio of nucleus to cytoplasm (N/C ratio) between the lines. Abnormal cell nuclei had more nucleoli, markedly higher density and clumpier chromatin organization compared to normal. Nuclei of non-tumorigenic, fibrocystic cells exhibited larger textural variations than metastatic cell nuclei. At p<0.0025 by ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis tests, 90% of our computed descriptors statistically differentiated control from abnormal cell populations, but only 69% of these features statistically differentiated the fibrocystic from the metastatic cell populations.
Conclusions
Our results provide a new perspective on nuclear structure variations associated with malignancy and point to the value of automated quantitative 3D nuclear morphometry as an objective tool to enable development of sensitive and specific nuclear grade classification in breast cancer diagnosis.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2012-01-05