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Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Microbiology, Immunology, and Cell Biology


Noninvasive in vivo assessment of chemical tumor microenvironment (TME) parameters such as oxygen (pO2), extracellular acidosis (pHe), and concentration of interstitial inorganic phosphate (Pi) may provide unique insights into biological processes in solid tumors. In this work, we employ a recently developed multifunctional trityl paramagnetic probe and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) technique for in vivoconcurrent assessment of these TME parameters in various mouse models of cancer. While the data support the existence of hypoxic and acidic regions in TME, the most dramatic differences, about 2-fold higher concentrations in tumors vs. normal tissues, were observed for interstitial Pi - the only parameter that also allowed for discrimination between non-metastatic and highly metastatic tumors. Correlation analysis between [Pi], pO2, pHe and tumor volumes reveal an association of high [Pi] with changes in tumor metabolism and supports different mechanisms of protons and Pi accumulation in TME. Our data identifies interstitial inorganic phosphate as a new TME marker for tumor progression. Pi association with tumor metabolism, buffer-mediated proton transport, and a requirement of high phosphorus content for the rapid growth in the “growth rate hypothesis” may underline its potential role in tumorigenesis and tumor progression.

Source Citation

Bobko, A., Eubank, T., Driesschaert, B. et al. Interstitial Inorganic Phosphate as a Tumor Microenvironment Marker for Tumor Progression. Sci Rep 7, 41233 (2017).


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