Clinical OMICS

MAY-JUN 2017

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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Page 24 of 47 May/June 2017 Clinical OMICs 23 He explained: "We know that they regulate the expression level of the gene. What we don't know is exactly how do they work? Are they always together for example? Do they come together once in a while? Are they coming together just once in a week or once in a day? How dynamically are they interacting with each other? We don't get this kind of information from this population analysis, but when we label with multicolor then we can study this dynamic information." While this type of fluorescent labeling technique has wider implications, it could be a useful tool for cancer researchers. "What we think it will allow us to do in cancer cells is that we can compare a malignant cell to a normal cell in terms of the location of the particular gene, in terms of how dynamically this particular gene is moving around inside the nucleus," said Dr. Adli. "Then, if you do the multicolor labeling, we can look at regulatory enhancer elements. For example, we can label them to see that in normal cells an enhancer element is not interacting with a specific gene, but in cancer cells this ele- ment does interact with this gene." Dr. Adli believes it is too early to predict if this technique could be used to help develop cancer therapies, but sug- gests it could be useful for diagnostic purposes. "In cancers there is copy number variation where one gene is duplicated many, many times so we end up with multiple copies of the same gene. We could simply use our technique to see how many copies of a gene are there in a cell," he explained. "In normal cells we should have two copies, one from Mum, one from Dad, so we should see two dots. But in can- cer cells, when there is amplification of a genomic region we should see many dots." The lab's team includes (left to right) Mazhar Adli, Tom Wei, Jackie Yang, Stephen Shang, and Turan Tufan. UVA Health System The defi nitive peer-reviewed journal covering all aspects of genetic testing Stay Connected! Sign Up for TOC Alerts

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