How ReV4D helps biologists study the effects of anti-cancerous drugs on living cells

Éric Bittar, Aassif Benassarou, Laurent Lucas, Emmanuel Elias, Pavel Tchelidze, Dominique Ploton et Marie-Françoise O'Donohue

We present a collaborative work between cellular biologists of the MéDIAN lab. and computer science researchers of the LERI lab. Cell biologists of the MéDIAN group have applied recent developments of genetic engineering to obtain cell-lines expressing fusion proteins composed of a protein of interest, UBF (Upstream Binding Factor), combined with an auto-fluorescent protein: GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein). Thus, these cells may be observed with a confocal microscope, leading to 4D images. The data in this study record the evolution of UBF proteins under the action of an anti-cancerous drug: actinomycin D. We show that, whereas the images are difficult to study with conventional visualization tools, the “Reconstruction and Visualization 4D” tool (ReV4D) developed in the LERI lab. is helpful to model, analyze and visualize the evolving phenomena occurring in the living cells. ReV4D combines a time-space deformable model with volume rendering methods.