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Open AccessArticle

Transgenic Plants as Low-Cost Platform for Chemotherapeutic Drugs Screening

1
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies (DiSTeBA), University of Salento, Campus ECOTEKNE, S.P. 6, Lecce-Monteroni, Lecce 73100, Italy
2
Laboratory of Clinical Proteomics, Vito Fazzi Hospital, Lecce 73100, Italy
3
Institute of Science of Food Production, National Research Council (CNR), Lecce 73100, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marcello Iriti
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(1), 2174-2186; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms16012174
Received: 30 November 2014 / Accepted: 9 January 2015 / Published: 20 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Cell Compartmentation and Volume Control)
In this work we explored the possibility of using genetically modified Arabidopsis thaliana plants as a rapid and low-cost screening tool for evaluating human anticancer drugs action and efficacy. Here, four different inhibitors with a validated anticancer effect in humans and distinct mechanism of action were screened in the plant model for their ability to interfere with the cytoskeletal and endomembrane networks. We used plants expressing a green fluorescent protein (GFP) tagged microtubule-protein (TUA6-GFP), and three soluble GFPs differently sorted to reside in the endoplasmic reticulum (GFPKDEL) or to accumulate in the vacuole through a COPII dependent (AleuGFP) or independent (GFPChi) mechanism. Our results demonstrated that drugs tested alone or in combination differentially influenced the monitored cellular processes including cytoskeletal organization and endomembrane trafficking. In conclusion, we demonstrated that A. thaliana plants are sensitive to the action of human chemotherapeutics and can be used for preliminary screening of drugs efficacy. The cost-effective subcellular imaging in plant cell may contribute to better clarify drugs subcellular targets and their anticancer effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; chemotherapeutics; cytoskeleton; endomembrane trafficking; green fluorescent protein Arabidopsis thaliana; chemotherapeutics; cytoskeleton; endomembrane trafficking; green fluorescent protein
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Vergara, D.; De Domenico, S.; Maffia, M.; Piro, G.; Sansebastiano, G.-P.D. Transgenic Plants as Low-Cost Platform for Chemotherapeutic Drugs Screening. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 2174-2186.

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