Cell Biology: Research & TherapyISSN: 2324-9293

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Editorial, Cell Biol Res Ther Vol: 1 Issue: 1

Editorial on Cell Biology: Research and Therapy

Adrienne Grant*
The University of Sydney, Australia
Corresponding author : Adrienne Grant, PhD
The University of Sydney, Australia
E-mail: [email protected]
Received: June 22, 2012 Accepted: June 22, 2012 Published: June 25, 2012
Citation: Grant A (2012) Editorial on Cell Biology: Research and Therapy. Cell Biol: Res Ther 1:1 doi:10.4172/2324-9293.1000e103

Abstract

Editorial on Cell Biology: Research and Therapy

Cell Biology: Research and Therapy provides a timely reminder of the importance of linking scientific research in cell biology to practical outcomes. Many scientific research projects provide mental stimulation for the participants with the ‘carrot’ that the researcher is making a new discovery and also increasing publications. However, particularly when the project aim is to provide therapy options, unless the methods are carefully planned, the results may not lead to a practical and safe solution.

Keywords: Cell Developmental Biology; Cell Cloning; Cell Death: Apoptosis

This new journal provides a timely reminder of the importance of linking scientific research in cell biology to practical outcomes.
Many scientific research projects provide mental stimulation for the participants with the 'carrot' that the researcher is making a new discovery and also increasing publications. However, particularly when the project aim is to provide therapy options, unless the methods are carefully planned, the results may not lead to a practical and safe solution.
While the expression 'focus on the wood and not the trees' may be useful for business companies, in cell biology and biochemistry, determining the role of each of the individual 'trees' is essential in order to understand the problem that needs to be solved.
Extend your contacts to include scientists from other research areas. Discussion with people from different fields using new techniques will help to identify potential pitfalls and save valuable time and money.
This editorial is aimed at new researchers as many readers may have already implemented the following suggestions. For practical success, it is essential that several criteria are included. Before you begin your project you need to consider the following:
- How does the planned research relate to real life i.e. to live organisms?
- Will your methods provide you with reliable results?
- For example, when using electron microscopy to identify the structure of tissues, use liquid nitrogen instead of fixatives such as formalin which oxidize proteins and cause artificial shrinkage.
- Avoid chemical solvent extraction of proteins as the solvent may destroy the biological activity of the protein that is being studied.
- Avoid using antibodies to detect enzyme activity as they may not discriminate between active and inactive enzymes and may thus prove unreliable in determining levels of active enzymes.
- Live cells can be useful to determine changes in essential cofactors using fluorescence microscopy. By supplying appropriate substrates NAD(P)H can be used to monitor levels of several enzymes. Thus, changes in the fluorescence of NAD(P)H can be monitored in live cells before and after drug treatment to determine the effects of potential drugs.
Several proteases including plasminogen activator, collagenase, cathepsin and elastase have been implicated in cancer metastasis. However, elastase is the only enzyme that can degrade elastin, a protein that is present in blood vessel walls. Thus, cells in primary tumours that produce elastase have the capacity to enter blood vessels and metastasize to new sites. Fluorescent substrates can be used to identify specific proteases produced by tumour cells. In a laboratory setting, such a method may then be combined with specific protease inhibitors to determine their potential usefulness for therapeutic purposes.
However, following incubation of cells with any therapeutic drug it is important to confirm that cells remain intact. A simple test is to determine whether dyes such as Trypan blue are excluded.
Another option is to consider using a live model that will focus on particular types of tissues that are common to all organisms. Instead of using rats and mice, consider using invertebrates which lack the complex organs of mammals yet share many similar proteins and functions with mammals.
For example, much has been learned by studying Hydra, a freshwater cnidarian invertebrate that has many proteins that are similar to those found in humans. The small size of Hydra may be a limiting factor in their use for testing drugs. However, the marine cnidarian, Zoanthus robustus provides a practical live model to examine changes in tissues similar to those found in human blood vessels in diabetes and atherosclerosis. Zoanthids (5 to 12 cm) have a tubular body consisting of an extra cellular matrix (ECM) that contains the same types of collagen and elastin as those found in human arteries. Zoanthids are easy to maintain in the laboratory. For example, they can be used as a model for Type 2 diabetes to test the effects of sugars such as fructose and glucose in causing oxidative damage to ECM proteins. Because of their remarkable ability for regeneration, they do not need to be killed. Portions of the body can be removed for histology leaving the remainder to regrow. Thus the recovery time can also be monitored after removal of the test substance.
These suggestions are based on personal experience. Even if they are not pertinent to your current research, they may trigger other ideas that will lead to fruitful research leading to safe and reliable therapeutic drugs.

 

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