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Title: Tools for single cell proteomics
Author: Salehi-Reyhani, Ali
ISNI:       0000 0004 2715 4819
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2011
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Despite recent advances that offer control of single cells, in terms of manipulation and sorting and the ability to measure gene expression, the need to measure protein copy number remains unmet. Measuring protein copy number in single cells and related quantities such as levels of phosphorylation and protein-protein interaction is the basis of single cell proteomics. A technology platform to undertake the analysis of protein copy number from single cells has been developed. The approach described is ‘all-optical’ whereby single cells are manipulated into separate analysis chambers using an optical trap; single cells are lysed by mechanical shearing caused by laser-induced microcavitation; and the protein released from a single cell is measured by total internal reflection microscopy as it is bound to micro-printed antibody spots within the device. The platform was tested using GFP transfected cells and the relative precision of the measurement method was determined to be 88%. Single cell measurements were also made on a breast cancer cell line to measure the relative levels of unlabelled human tumour suppressor protein p53 using a chip incorporating an antibody sandwich assay format. This demonstrates the ability count protein copy number from single cells in a manner which could be applied in principle to any set of proteins and for any cell type without the need for genetic engineering. Metabolism can undergo alteration in diseases such as cancer and heart failure and also as cells differentiate during development. In order to assess how it may inform a proteomic measurement, multidimensional two-photon fluorescence metabolic imaging is conducted on a cultured cancer cell line, primary adult rat cardiomyocytes and human embryonic stem cells. By measuring the parameters of fluorescence such as intensity and lifetime of the autofluorescent metabolic co-factors NADH and FAD, it was found to be possible to contrast cells under various conditions and metabolic stimuli. In particular, human embryonic stem cells were able to be contrasted at 3 stages of development as they underwent differentiation into embryonic stem cell derived cardiomyocytes. Metabolic imaging provides a non-destructive method to monitor cellular metabolic activity with high resolution. This is complimentary to the single cell proteomic platform and the convergence of both techniques holds promise in future investigations into how metabolism influences cell function and the proteome in development and disease.
Supervisor: Klug, David ; French, Paul ; Neil, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral