Tracking the expression of therapeutic protein targets in rare cells by antibody-mediated nanoparticle labelling and magnetic sorting

Mahmoud Labib, Zongjie Wang, Sharif U. Ahmed, Reza M. Mohamadi, Bill Duong, Brenda Green, Edward H. Sargent, Shana O. Kelley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Molecular-level features of tumours can be tracked using single-cell analyses of circulating tumour cells (CTCs). However, single-cell measurements of protein expression for rare CTCs are hampered by the presence of a large number of non-target cells. Here, we show that antibody-mediated labelling of intracellular proteins in the nucleus, mitochondria and cytoplasm of human cells with magnetic nanoparticles enables analysis of target proteins at the single-cell level by sorting the cells according to their nanoparticle content in a microfluidic device with cell-capture zones sandwiched between arrays of magnets. We used the magnetic labelling and cell-sorting approach to track the expression of therapeutic protein targets in CTCs isolated from blood samples of mice with orthotopic prostate xenografts and from patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. We also show that mutated proteins that are drug targets or markers of therapeutic response can be directly identified in CTCs, analysed at the single-cell level and used to predict how mice with drug-susceptible and drug-resistant pancreatic tumour xenografts respond to therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-52
Number of pages12
JournalNature Biomedical Engineering
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications

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