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Thymidine kinase

TK is an enzyme expressed in the G1-S cell division stage to supply the thymidine triphosphate necessary for cell division. Thus TK has indirectly been used for measuring cell division in cell culture by addition of radioactive thymidine followed by measurement of radioaktivity incorporated in the DNA (so called thymidine incorporation analysis). Presence of active TK in serum and its correlation to tumour disease was shown 1982. Results since then, obtained with radioactive assays, e.g. Prolifigen® TK-REA (DiaSorin S.r.L), have demonstrated that levels of serum TK in tumour patients correspond to the amount of dividing tumour cells. Serum TK activity assays have found their major clinical application for the prognosis and the monitoring of therapy in blood malignancies. Elevated levels of TK activity have also been linked to solid tumours20: prostatic carcinoma and lung cancer. Another reason for increased serum TK activity is vitamin B12 deficiency, when causing megaloblastic anemia, because of the interference with thymidine monophosphate supply. Further, certain virus infections triggering the cells into G1-S stage give transient elevated serum TK activity in acute stage of infection. These viruses belong mainly to the Herpes virus group. Particularly generalized zoster and cytomegalovirus infection in immunosuppressed patients must be verified and further investigated. With the high sensitivity obtained by DiviTum® it has also been noted that transient increase in S-TK occurs during wound healing after e.g. surgery. These increases i.e. after acute viremia and trauma normalize within 5 – 8 weeks depending of severity of damage33. TK activity has also been found in body fluids other than serum, such as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), pleural fluid and ascitic fluid in connection with tumour disease.

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DiviTum - TK Activity Assay

901/902 96-wells
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