In situ monitoring of PTHLH secretion in neuroblastoma cells cultured onto nanoporous membranes

Alfredo de la Escosura-Muñiz, Marisol Espinoza-Casteñeda, Alejandro Chamorro-Garcia, Carlos J. Rodríguez-Hernández, Carmen de Torres, Arben Merkoçi. Biosensors & Bioelectronics

In this work, we propose for the first time the use of anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) nanoporous membranes for in situ monitoring of parathyroid hormone-like hormone (PTHLH) secretion in cultured human cells. The biosensing system is based on the nanochannels blockage upon immunocomplex formation, which is electrically monitored through the voltammetric oxidation of Prussian blue nanoparticles (PBNPs). Models evaluated include a neuroblastoma cell line (SK-N-AS) and immortalized keratinocytes (HaCaT) as a control of high PTHLH production. The effect of total number of seeded cells and incubation time on the secreted PTHLH levels is assessed, finding that secreted PTHLH levels range from approximately 60 to 400 ng/mL. Moreover, our methodology is also applied to analyse PTHLH production following PTHLH gene knockdown upon transient cell transfection with a specific silencing RNA (siRNA). Given that inhibition of PTHLH secretion reduces cell proliferation, survival and invasiveness in a number of tumors, our system provides a powerful tool for the preclinical evaluation of therapies that regulate PTHLH production. This nanoporous membrane – based sensing technology might be useful to monitor the active secretion of other proteins as well, thus contributing to characterize their regulation and function.

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