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Intracellular redox potential is correlated with miRNA expression in MCF7 cells under hypoxic conditions

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201909455
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Early online date10 Sep 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Sep 2019


Hypoxia is a ubiquitous feature of cancers, encouraging glycolytic metabolism,
proliferation and resistance to therapy. Nonetheless, hypoxia is a poorly defined term with confounding features described in the literature. Redox biology provides an important link between the external cellular microenvironment and the cell’s response to changing oxygen pressures. In this paper we demonstrate a correlation between intracellular redox potential (measured using optical nanosensors) and the concentrations of miRNAs involved in the cell’s response to changes in oxygen pressure. The correlations were established using surprisal analysis (an approach derived from thermodynamics and information theory). We found that measured redox potential changes reflect changes in the free energy computed by surprisal analysis of miRNAs. Furthermore surprisal analysis identified groups of miRNAs, functionally related to changes in proliferation and metastatic potential that played the most significant role in the cell’s response to changing oxygen pressure.

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