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Characterization of Exosomes In Pediatric Cancer Cells

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Exosomes have been known to secrete an increased amount of miRNA and noncoding genes that are abnormally expressed in various cancer subtypes. Thus, they may be an early marker for pediatric cancer types that are more difficult to diagnosis without

Exosomes have been known to secrete an increased amount of miRNA and noncoding genes that are abnormally expressed in various cancer subtypes. Thus, they may be an early marker for pediatric cancer types that are more difficult to diagnosis without invasive techniques, and may also help identify progression of the disease. In the project, six types of pediatric cancer cell lines, along with their extracted exosomes, were analyzed and tested for different monoclonal antibodies through western blot analysis. The genes EWS-FLI1 and FGFR4 were also identified in some cancer cell lines through Reverse-Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction analysis (RT-PCR). The results were indicative of similar protein markers being found in both the originating cells and their corresponding exosomes.

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2017-12

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Construction and Characterization of Recombinant anti-PD-L1 Single Chain Antibodies

Description

Programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1) is an overexpressed protein on many tumor cell types. PD-L1 is involved in normal immune regulation, playing an important role in self-tolerance and controlling autoimmunity. However, ligation of PD-L1 to PD-1 on activated T cells

Programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1) is an overexpressed protein on many tumor cell types. PD-L1 is involved in normal immune regulation, playing an important role in self-tolerance and controlling autoimmunity. However, ligation of PD-L1 to PD-1 on activated T cells leads to tumor-mediated T cell suppression. Inhibiting the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway has emerged as an effective target for anti-tumor immunotherapies. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) targeting tumor-associated antigens such as PD-L1 have proven to be effective checkpoint blockades, improving therapeutic outcomes for cancer patients and receiving FDA approval as first line therapies for some cancers. A single chain variable fragment (scFv) is composed of the variable heavy and light chain regions of a mAb, connected by a flexible linker. We hypothesized that scFv proteins based on the published anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody sequences of atezolizumab and avelumab would bind to cell surface PD-L1. Four single chain variable fragments (scFvs) were constructed based on the sequences of these mAbs. PCR was used to assemble, construct, and amplify DNA fragments encoding the scFvs which were subsequently ligated into a eukaryotic expression vector. Mammalian cells were transfected with the scFv and scFv-IgG plasmids. The scFvs were tested for binding to PD-L1 on tumor cell lysates by western blot and to whole tumor cells by staining and flow cytometry analysis. DNA sequence analysis demonstrated that the scFv constructs were successfully amplified and cloned into the expression vectors and recombinant scFvs were produced. The binding capabilities of the scFvs constucts to PD-L1 protein were confirmed by western blot and flow cytometry analysis. This lead to the idea of constructing a CAR T cell engineered to target PD-L1, providing a possible adoptive T cell immunotherapy.

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2018-05

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Investigate and characterize the means to reduce the toxicity of genetically engineered cancer therapeutic recombinant attenuated Salmonella

Description

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world and represents a tremendous burden on patients, families and societies. S. Typhimurium strains are specifically attracted to compounds produced by cancer cells and could overcome the traditional therapeutic

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world and represents a tremendous burden on patients, families and societies. S. Typhimurium strains are specifically attracted to compounds produced by cancer cells and could overcome the traditional therapeutic barrier. However, a major problem with using live attenuated Salmonella as anti-cancer agents is their toxicity at the dose required for therapeutic efficacy, but reducing the dose results in diminished efficacy. In this project, we explored novel means to reduce the toxicity of the recombinant attenuated Salmonella by genetically engineering those virulence factors to facilitate maximal colonization of tumor tissues and reduced fitness in normal tissues. We have constructed two sets of Salmonella strains. In the first set, each targeted gene was knocked out by deletion of the gene. In the second set, the predicted promoter region of each gene was replaced with a rhamnose-regulated promoter, which will cease the synthesis of these genes in vivo, a rhamnose-free environment.

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Date Created
2013-05

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TWEAK functions as chemotactic factor for glioma cells via Lyn activation

Description

The long-term survival of patients with glioblastoma multiforme is compromised by the tumor's proclivity for local invasion into the surrounding normal brain. These invasive cells escape surgery and display resistance to chemotherapeutic- and radiation-induced apoptosis. We have previously shown that

The long-term survival of patients with glioblastoma multiforme is compromised by the tumor's proclivity for local invasion into the surrounding normal brain. These invasive cells escape surgery and display resistance to chemotherapeutic- and radiation-induced apoptosis. We have previously shown that tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK), a member of the tumor necrosis factor superfamily, can stimulate glioma cell invasion and survival via binding to the fibroblast growth factor-inducible 14 (Fn14) receptor and subsequent activation of the Rac1/NF-kappaB pathway. In addition, we have reported previously that Fn14 is expressed at high levels in migrating glioma cells in vitro and invading glioma cells in vivo. Here we demonstrate that TWEAK can act as a chemotactic factor for glioma cells, a potential process to drive cell invasion into the surrounding brain tissue. Specifically, we detected a chemotactic migration of glioma cells to the concentration gradient of TWEAK. Since Src family kinases (SFK) have been implicated in chemotaxis, we next determined whether TWEAK:Fn14 engagement activated these cytoplasmic tyrosine kinases. Our data shows that TWEAK stimulation of glioma cells results in a rapid phosphorylation of the SFK member Lyn as determined by multiplex Luminex assay and verified by immunoprecipitation. Immunodepletion of Lyn by siRNA oligonucleotides suppressed the chemoattractive effect of TWEAK on glioma cells. We hypothesize that TWEAK secretion by cells present in the glioma microenvironment induce invasion of glioma cells into the brain parenchyma. Understanding the function and signaling of the TWEAK-Fn14 ligand-receptor system may lead to development of novel therapies to therapeutically target invasive glioma cells.

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2013-05

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The Integration of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) into Western Biomedical Oncology Treatment

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Through a standpoint feminist perspective (Harding 2009) I conducted a situational analysis (Clarke, 2015) that examined academic literature and cancer support discussion boards (DBs) to identify how Western biomedicine, specifically oncology, can integrate complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to improve

Through a standpoint feminist perspective (Harding 2009) I conducted a situational analysis (Clarke, 2015) that examined academic literature and cancer support discussion boards (DBs) to identify how Western biomedicine, specifically oncology, can integrate complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to improve cancer treatment in children. The aims of this project were: 1) to identify the CAM treatments that are being used to alleviate the side effects from oncological treatments and/or treat pediatric cancers; 2) to compare the subjective experience of CAM to Western biomedicine of cancer patients who leave comments on Group Loop, Cancer Compass and Cancer Forums, which are online support groups (N=20). I used grounded theory and situational mapping to analyze discussion threads. The participants identified using the following CAM treatments: herbs, imagery, prayer, stinging nettle, meditation, mind-body therapies and supplements. The participants turned to CAM treatments when their cancer was late-stage or terminal, often as an integrative and not exclusively to treat their cancer. CAM was more "effective" than biomedical oncology treatment at improving their overall quality of life and functionality. We found that youth on discussion boards did not discuss CAM treatments like the adult participants, but all participants visited these sites for support and verification of their cancer treatments. My main integration recommendation is to combine mind-body CAM therapies with biomedical treatment. This project fills the gap in literature that ignores the ideas of vulnerable populations by providing the experiences of adult and pediatric cancer patients, and that of their families. It is applicable to areas of the social studies of medicine, patient care, and families suffering from cancer. KEYWORDS: Cancer; Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Situational Analysis; Standpoint Feminism

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Date Created
2016-12