Ahmad Tayoun from Dartmouth College's Geisel School of Medicine and his colleagues present in Experimental and Molecular Pathology an assessment of the thermostability of commercial real-time PCR master mixes, which they undertook in an effort to evaluated the efficacy of thermostable reagents for diagnostic testing in resource limited settings. The authors show that several master mixes have thermostability and show robust performance at 20°C, 40°C, and 45°C at six, four, and two weeks, respectively. "However, none of the master mixes that we evaluated was able to withstand more than one month at 45°C incubation," Tayoun et al. write. "Our findings have implications for clinical diagnostics in the developing world where cold-chain delivery of diagnostic assays is difficult to guarantee."
Also in Experimental and Molecular Pathology, a group led by researchers in Argentina presents the results of its screening of heme oxygenate-1 (HO-1) expression in a collection of human primary head and neck squamous cell carcinomas, which it sought to correlate with clinical and pathological parameters. Using immunohistochemistry in tissue microarrays of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, as well as paraffin-embedded tumor specimens from an independent cohort, the authors found that "nuclear HO-1 was observed in HNSCC [head and neck squamous cell carcinoma] cell lines and increased even further following hemin treatment. Analysis of HO-1 expression and sub-cellular localization in a mouse model of squamous cell carcinoma and in human HNSCC revealed that nuclear HO-1 increases with tumor progression," they write. "Taken together, these results demonstrate that HO-1 is up-regulated in HNSCC and that nuclear localization of HO-1 is associated with malignant progression in this tumor type."