Screens for compounds and proteins with anti-cancer activity employ viability assays using relevant cancer cell lines. For leukaemia studies, the human leukaemia cell line, HL-60, is often used as a model system. To facilitate the discovery and investigation of anti-leukaemia therapeutics under physiological conditions, we have engineered HL-60 cells that stably express firefly luciferase and produce light that can be detected using an in vivo imaging system (IVIS). Bioluminescent HL-60/uc cells could be rapidly detected in whole blood with a sensitivity of approximately 1000 viable cells/200 μl blood. Treatment of HL-60/uc cells with the drug chlorambucil revealed that the bioluminescent viability assay is able to detect cell death earlier than the Trypan blue dye exclusion assay. HL-60/uc cells administered intraperitoneally (i.p.) or intravenously (i.v.) were visualized in living mice. The rapidity and ease of detecting HL-60/uc cells in biological fluid indicates that this cell line could be used in high-throughput screens for the identification of drugs with anti-leukaemia activity under physiological conditions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemistry (miscellaneous)
- Drug screen
- Hematological malignancy