Glioma invasion as visualised by FRET biosensors

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Published: 20 Nov 2012
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Dr Michiyuki Matsuda – Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan

Dr Michiyuki Matsuda talks to ecancer at the IFOM-Kyoto University Joint Symposium in Milan about his talk, ‘Roles of Rho-family GTPases in glioma invasion as visualised by FRET biosensors’.


While this process can also take place in breast and lung cancer, Dr Matsuda highlights the process in glioma and the potential effects visualising this process will have on cancer therapy.

Can you summarise your lab’s interest in glioblastoma?

Glioblastoma is using just a kind of model; we are developing a tool to visual the activity of many, many molecules in living cells. So we can actually visualise such kind of activity for the molecules in many tumour cells so we are actually studying glioblastoma cells and we are also studying colon cancer and we are also studying breast cancers. In this symposium we just talked about the glioblastoma. Glioblastoma is kind of a good model to observe the activity of a kind of signalling molecule that’s changed during the invasion into the brain.

Tell us about the FRET biosensors?

Probably you know the green fluorescent protein, some four years ago since the researchers got the Nobel Prize for that, it’s a kind of derivative of that technique. By using two fluorescence proteins, two green fluorescence proteins, we can make a kind of sensor to see the structural change of the proteins. The structural change of the protein means the activity change of the proteins. A single cell consists of more than 25,000 proteins and we are seeing the kind of critical molecules, particularly critical in oncogenesis of the cells and we made a biosensor to visualise activity of such very important proteins, often called the oncogene product.

What will the implications be for cancer therapy?

Firstly, because I am a pathologist, our initial purpose of this research was to understand how cancer occurs. Actually recently we are now using the FRET biosensors to screen new drugs that can cure cancer. So this is a very novel way to screen the drugs, anti-cancer drugs.

Could you discus why you are at IFOM?

We are now attending the IFOM Kyoto joint symposium and I’m going to discuss with many very famous researchers in this institute. Of course I want to advertise my techniques. I’m sure our biosensor is very useful for the researchers who are working in this institute.