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Nutrients 2013, 5(5), 1734-1756; doi:10.3390/nu5051734
Review

Selenium Metabolism in Cancer Cells: The Combined Application of XAS and XFM Techniques to the Problem of Selenium Speciation in Biological Systems

1
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3,4
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3
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5
 and
1,*
1 School of Chemistry and Physics, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia 2 School of Chemistry, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia 3 Science Division, Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, IL 60439, USA 4 Biosciences Division, Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, IL 60439, USA 5 The Discipline of Pathology, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 January 2013 / Revised: 2 May 2013 / Accepted: 6 May 2013 / Published: 21 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Selenium and Health)
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Abstract

Determining the speciation of selenium in vivo is crucial to understanding the biological activity of this essential element, which is a popular dietary supplement due to its anti-cancer properties. Hyphenated techniques that combine separation and detection methods are traditionally and effectively used in selenium speciation analysis, but require extensive sample preparation that may affect speciation. Synchrotron-based X-ray absorption and fluorescence techniques offer an alternative approach to selenium speciation analysis that requires minimal sample preparation. We present a brief summary of some key HPLC-ICP-MS and ESI-MS/MS studies of the speciation of selenium in cells and rat tissues. We review the results of a top-down approach to selenium speciation in human lung cancer cells that aims to link the speciation and distribution of selenium to its biological activity using a combination of X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and X-ray fluorescence microscopy (XFM). The results of this approach highlight the distinct fates of selenomethionine, methylselenocysteine and selenite in terms of their speciation and distribution within cells: organic selenium metabolites were widely distributed throughout the cells, whereas inorganic selenium metabolites were compartmentalized and associated with copper. New data from the XFM mapping of electrophoretically-separated cell lysates show the distribution of selenium in the proteins of selenomethionine-treated cells. Future applications of this top-down approach are discussed.
Keywords: selenium; cancer; XAS; XFM; selenoproteins; SDS-PAGE selenium; cancer; XAS; XFM; selenoproteins; SDS-PAGE
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Weekley, C.M.; Aitken, J.B.; Finney, L.; Vogt, S.; Witting, P.K.; Harris, H.H. Selenium Metabolism in Cancer Cells: The Combined Application of XAS and XFM Techniques to the Problem of Selenium Speciation in Biological Systems. Nutrients 2013, 5, 1734-1756.

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