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Non-Invasive Real-time Monitoring of Membrane Cholesterol Dynamics in Human Keratinocytes with Roche & #039;s xCELLigence System

Wed, 03/31/2010 - 4:22am
Roche

Penzberg, March 31, 2010

Non-Invasive Real-time Monitoring of Membrane Cholesterol Dynamics in Human Keratinocytes with Roche's xCELLigence System

In a recent study initiated by Beiersdorf AG1, Florian Spörl and colleagues evaluated the use of Roche Applied Science's (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) xCELLigence System as a viable system to monitor not only cholesterol extraction and repletion but also cholesterol reorganization in human keratinocytes in real time. The xCELLigence System offers a novel approach to non-invasive long-term observation of membrane cholesterol dynamics in primary human keratinocytes. This real-time cell analysis system measures alterations in cellular impedance using microelectrodes on the surface of a 96-well culture plate (E-Plate). Spörl et al. were able to analyze the effects of membrane cholesterol reorganization on proliferation and differentiation, and their findings imply a strictly controlled mechanism for the regulation of membrane cholesterol composition in both early and late keratinocyte differentiation.

Cholesterol within biological membranes is organized in distinct liquid-ordered micro-domains known as lipid rafts. As was recently suggested, these lipid rafts play a role in cellular processes such as early differentiation and apoptosis in human keratinocytes. To date, monitoring the dynamics of cholesterol organization in plasma membranes remains challenging — the techniques available are simply limited. Spörl and colleagues are now the first to use the impedance-based xCELLigence System to monitor non-invasively and in real time membrane cholesterol reorganization and keratinocyte cell behavior.  The authors note that the use of this real-time cell analysis system will further enhance understanding of how physiological processes in keratinocytes are controlled by membrane cholesterol.

As a first step, the researchers evaluated that the real-time cell analysis system was a viable tool to monitor normal cell growth of primary keratinocytes. They then looked at cholesterol extraction and repletion and found that alterations in cellular impedance could be correlated with changes in membrane cholesterol. Not only did decreasing and increasing cellular impedance values represent extraction and repletion of cholesterol, Spörl et al. also described a correlation between cellular impedance and cholesterol-dependent lateral mobility in lipid rafts. They were then able to analyze physiological effects of the reorganization of membrane cholesterol in more detail and saw that the proliferative capacity of primary keratinocytes was increased upon cholesterol depletion.

During the late stage of differentiation, keratinocytes undergo major calcium-dependent morphological changes. According to the Beiersdorf study, these differentiation-related effects could also be visualized using cellular impedance measurements and the xCELLigence System. They were able to further analyze the role of membrane cholesterol in late keratinocyte differentiation and identified keratin 2 as a previously unreported differentiation marker that is regulated by membrane cholesterol organization. Lipid-raft mediated signaling might play an additional role in this regulatory process. Remarkably, these results were complemented by observations of differentiation-dependent morphological changes using the xCELLigence System.

1) Spörl F, Wunderskirchner M, Ullrich O, Bömke G, Breitenbach U, Blatt T, Wenck H, Wittern KP, Schrader A. Real-Time Monitoring of Membrane Cholesterol Reveals New Insights into Epidermal Differentiation. J Invest Dermatol 2009 Dec 31. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 20043016

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world's largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche's personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2009, Roche had over 80'000 employees worldwide and invested almost 10 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 49.1 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: www.roche.com.

Beiersdorf AG is a cosmetics company headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, that employs more than 20,000 people worldwide and that generated sales of â?¬5.748 billion in 2009. The company has been listed in the DAX since December 2008. Its flagship Nivea brand is the world's largest skin and beauty care brand.2 Other names in its internationally successful brand portfolio include Eucerin, La Prairie, Labello, 8x4, and Hansaplast/Elastoplast. The affiliate tesa SE is one of the world's leading manufacturers of self-adhesive product and system solutions for industry, trade, and consumers. Beiersdorf has more than 125 years' experience in skin and beauty care and stands for innovative and high-quality products.

2) Source: Euromonitor, "Skin and Beauty Care Products excluding Scents and Hair Dyes by Sales, 2008"

For life science research only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

All trademarks used or mentioned in this release are protected by law.

XCELLIGENCE is a trademark of Roche.

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