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EMD Millipore Introduces QCM™ Gelatin Invadopodia Assays for Study of Cell Invasion and Matrix Degradation

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EMD Millipore, has announced the launch of the QCM™ Gelatin Invadopodia Assays designed to standardize and enhance the study of cell invasion. The assays are the first and only commercially available kits for studying invadopodia.

Cell invasion into the surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM) is accompanied by the formation of protrusions of localized protease activity, called invadopodia in cancerous cell types and podosomes in non-malignant cells.

A common method for visualizing invadopodia and podosome formation involves plating cells onto a fluorescently-labeled matrix, such as gelatin. Localized protease activity then causes degradation of the matrix and loss of fluorescence signal.

The new QCM™ Gelatin Invadopodia Assays provide a simplified and standardized protocol for affixing a thin layer of pre-labeled fluorescein (green) or Cy3 (red) gelatin to a glass substrate, as well as reagents for co-localizing the actin cytoskeleton and nuclei with degradation sites.

The kits enable visualization of degradation produced by normal and malignant cell types. This degradation can be quantified by image analysis methods and used to track proteolytic time course studies, as well as modulator effects on invadopodia formation and ECM degradation.

“Conjugating fluorescent molecules to gelatin is a tedious process and difficult to execute in a standardized manner,” described Luke Armstrong Ph.D., Senior R&D Manager for Cell Based Assay Development.

“With the new assay kits, the gelatin is provided pre-labeled, allowing for consistent preparation of homogenously fluorescent matrices on a range of user-defined glass surfaces. Researchers now have a simple and standardized process for visualizing matrix degradation, observing co-localization of the actin cytoskeleton and matrix degradation sites, and exploring the effect of modulators on this invasive activity.”