Physical Labeling of Papillomavirus-Infected, Immortal, and Cancerous Cervical Epithelial Cells Reveal Surface Changes at Immortal Stage
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- Swaminathan Iyer, K., Gaikwad, R.M., Woodworth, C.D. et al. Cell Biochem Biophys (2012) 63: 109. doi:10.1007/s12013-012-9345-2
A significant change of surface features of malignant cervical epithelial cells compared to normal cells has been previously reported. Here, we are studying the question at which progressive stage leading to cervical cancer the surface alteration happens. A non-traditional method to identify malignant cervical epithelial cells in vitro, which is based on physical (in contrast to specific biochemical) labelling of cells with fluorescent silica micron-size beads, is used here to examine cells at progressive stages leading to cervical cancer which include normal epithelial cells, cells infected with human papillomavirus type-16 (HPV-16), cells immortalized by HPV-16, and carcinoma cells. The study shows a statistically significant (at p < 0.01) difference between both immortal and cancer cells and a group consisting of normal and infected. There is no significant difference between normal and infected cells. Immortal cells demonstrate the signal which is closer to cancer cells than to either normal or infected cells. This implies that the cell surface, surface cellular brush changes substantially when cells become immortal. Physical labeling of the cell surface represents a substantial departure from the traditional biochemical labeling methods. The results presented show the potential significance of physical properties of the cell surface for development of clinical methods for early detection of cervical cancer, even at the stage of immortalized, premalignant cells.