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Biophysical and Biochemical Characteristics as Complementary Indicators of Melanoma Progression

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journal contribution
posted on 25.07.2019 by Justyna Bobrowska, Kamil Awsiuk, Joanna Pabijan, Piotr Bobrowski, Janusz Lekki, Katarzyna M. Sowa, Jakub Rysz, Andrzej Budkowski, Małgorzata Lekka
The multistep character of cancer progression makes it difficult to define a unique biomarker of the disease. Interdisciplinary approaches, combining various complementary techniques, especially those operating at a nanoscale level, potentially accelerate characterization of cancer cells or tissue properties. Here, we study a relation between the surface and biomechanical properties of melanoma cells, measured by mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). In total, seven cell lines have been studied. Six of them were melanoma cells derived from various stages of tumor progression: (1) WM115 cells derived from a 55 year old female skin melanoma at a vertical growth phase (VGP) in the primary melanoma site, (2) WM793 cells established from the vertical growth phase (VGP) of a primary skin melanoma lesion, (3) WM266-4 cells established from a cutaneous skin metastasis detected in the same patient as WM115 cells, (4) WM239 cells derived from a cutaneous skin metastasis, (5) 1205Lu cells originated from a lung metastasis diagnosed in the same patient as WM793 cells, and (6) A375P-cells were derived from a solid malignant tumor located in the lung. As a reference cell line, human epidermal melanocytes from adult skin (primary cell line HEMa-LP) were used. Results reveal low, medium, and large deformability of melanoma cells originating from vertical growth phase (VGP), and skin and lung metastasis, respectively. These changes were accompanied by distinct outcome from principal component analysis (PCA). In relation to VGP melanoma cells, cells from skin and lung metastasis reveal similar or significantly different surface properties. The largest deformability difference observed for cells from VGP and lung metastasis was accompanied by the largest separation of unspecific changes in their surface properties. In this way, we show the evidence that biomechanical and surface biochemical properties of cells change in parallel, indicating a potential of being used as nanobiophysical fingerprints of melanoma progression.