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Cancer Research

Assessment of the Metabolic Profile of Primary Leukemia Cells

Published: November 21st, 2018



1CLIP - Childhood Leukemia Investigation Prague, Second Faculty of Medicine, Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, Charles University, Prague

Here we present a protocol for the isolation of leukemic cells from leukemia patients bone marrow and analysis of their metabolic state. Assessment of the metabolic profile of primary leukemia cells could help to better characterize the demand of primary cells and could lead up to more personalized medicine.

The metabolic requirement of cancer cells can negatively influence survival and treatment efficacy. Nowadays, pharmaceutical targeting of metabolic pathways is tested in many types of tumors. Thus, characterization of cancer cell metabolic setup is inevitable in order to target the correct pathway to improve the overall outcome of patients. Unfortunately, in a majority of cancers, the malignant cells are quite difficult to obtain in higher numbers and the tissue biopsy is required. Leukemia is an exception, where a sufficient number of leukemic cells can be isolated from the bone marrow. Here, we provide a detailed protocol for the isolation of leukemic cells from leukemia patients bone marrow and subsequent analysis of their metabolic state using extracellular flux analyzer. Leukemic cells are isolated by the density gradient, which does not affect their viability. The next cultivation step helps them to regenerate, thus the metabolic state measured is the state of cells in optimal conditions. This protocol allows achieving consistent, well-standardized results, which could be used for the personalized therapy.

The metabolic profile is one of the main characteristics of cells and altered bioenergetics are now considered one of the hallmarks of cancer1,2,3. Moreover, changes in the metabolic setup could be used in the treatment of cancer by targeting signal transduction pathways or enzymatic machinery of cancer cells4,5,6. Knowing the metabolic predisposition of cancer cells is thus an advantage and can help improve the current therapy.

There are a plenty of alrea....

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All samples were obtained with the informed consent of the children's parents or guardians and approval of Ethical committee of Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, the study no. NV15-28848A.

1. Preparation of Reagents

  1. Prepare 500 mL of PBS by dissolving 137 mM NaCl, 2.7 mM KCl, 4.3 mM Na2HPO4, 1.47 mM KH2PO4, in ddH2O. Adjust the pH to 7.4 with HCl. Sterilize by autoclaving.
  2. Prepare 100 mL of RPMI medium.......

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Figure 3 shows the curves after Glycolysis stress test and Cell Mito stress test measurements of leukemic blasts from the BCP-ALL (B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia) and AML (acute myeloid leukemia) patients. The calculation of metabolic parameters from these measurements is also indicated. 500,000 cells per well were seeded and all measurements were done in hexaplicates.

In the Glycolys.......

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The above-described protocol allows for the measurement of the metabolic activity assessed by OCR and ECAR values in primary leukemic blasts derived from patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The advantage of measurement using an extracellular flux analyzer is that it enables the detection of metabolic profile in the real time in the live cells. Essentially, every step in the provided protocol could be adjusted depending on the cell type one plans to study. Here, we will discus.......

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We would like to thank the Czech Pediatric Hematology Centers. This work was supported by the Grant of Ministry of Health (NV15-28848A), by Ministry of Health of Czech Republic, University Hospital Motol, Prague, Czech Republic 00064203 and by Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports NPU I nr.LO1604.


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Name Company Catalog Number Comments
RPMI 1640 Medium, GlutaMAX Supplement Gibco, ThermoFisher Scientific 61870-010
Fetal Bovine Serum Biosera FB-1001/100
Antibiotic-Antimycotic (100X) Gibco, ThermoFisher Scientific 15240-062
Sodium bicarbonate Sigma-Aldrich S5761-500G
D-(+) Glucose Sigma-Aldrich G7021-100G
Oligomycin A Sigma-Aldrich 75351-5MG
2-Deoxy-D-glucose Sigma-Aldrich D8375-1G
FCCP Sigma-Aldrich C2920-10MG
DMSO Sigma-Aldrich D8418-100ML
Rotenone Sigma-Aldrich R8875-1G
Antimycin A from Streptomyces sp. Sigma-Aldrich A8674-25MG
Seahorse XF Base Medium, 100 mL Agilent Technologies 103193-100
L-glutamine solution, 200 mM Sigma-Aldrich G7513-100ML
HEPES solution, 1 M, pH 7.0-7.6 Sigma-Aldrich H0887-100ML
Sodium pyruvate Sigma-Aldrich P5280-25G
Bovine Serum Albumin Sigma-Aldrich A2153-10G
Ficoll-Paque Plus Sigma-Aldrich GE17-1440-02 Density gradient medium
Seahorse XFp FluxPak Agilent Technologies 103022-100
Corning™ Cell-Tak Cell and Tissue Adhesive ThermoFisher Scientific CB40240
Seahorse Analyzer XFp Agilent Technologies S7802A
Seahorse XFp Cell Culture Miniplate Agilent Technologies 103025-100

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