Matching Items (50)
- All Subjects: Cancer
- Creators: School of Life Sciences
- Member of: Barrett, The Honors College Thesis/Creative Project Collection
Introduction: Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is seen in up to 90% of cases of cervical cancer, the third leading cancer cause of death in women. Current HPV screening focuses on only two HPV types and covers roughly 75% of HPV-associated cervical cancers. A protein based assay to test for antibody biomarkers against 98 HPV antigens from both high and low risk types could provide an inexpensive and reliable method to screen for patients at risk of developing invasive cervical cancer. Methods: 98 codon optimized, commercially produced HPV genes were cloned into the pANT7_cGST vector, amplified in a bacterial host, and purified for mammalian expression using in vitro transcription/translation (IVTT) in a luminescence-based RAPID ELISA (RELISA) assay. Monoclonal antibodies were used to determine immune cross-reactivity between phylogenetically similar antigens. Lastly, several protein characteristics were examined to determine if they correlated with protein expression. Results: All genes were successfully moved into the destination vector and 86 of the 98 genes (88%) expressed protein at an adequate level. A difference was noted in expression by gene across HPV types but no correlation was found between protein size, pI, or aliphatic index and expression. Discussion: Further testing is needed to express the remaining 12 HPV genes. Once all genes have been successfully expressed and purified at high concentrations, DNA will be printed on microscope slides to create a protein microarray. This microarray will be used to screen HPV-positive patient sera for antibody biomarkers that may be indicative of cervical cancer and precancerous cervical neoplasias.
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the USA and throughout the world. Two phenotypes that promote this deadly outcome are the invasive potential of NSCLC and the emergence of therapeutic resistance in this disease. There is an unmet clinical need to understand the mechanisms that govern NSCLC cell invasion and therapeutic resistance, and to target these phenotypes towards abating the dismal five-year survival of NSCLC. The expression of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, member 12A (TNFRSF12A; Fn14) correlates with poor patient survival and invasiveness in many tumor types including NSCLC. We hypothesize that suppression of Fn14 will inhibit NSCLC cell motility and reduce cell viability. Here we demonstrate that atorvastatin calcium treatment reduces Fn14 expression in NSCLC cell lines. Prior to Fn14 protein suppression, atorvastatin calcium modulated the expression of the Fn14 modulators P-ERK1/2 and P-NF-κβ. Atorvastatin calcium treatment inhibited the migratory capacity in H1975, H2030 and H1993 cells by at least 55%. When chemotactic migration in H2030 cells was induced by the Fn14 ligand TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) treatment, atorvastatin calcium successfully negated any stimulatory effects. Inversely, treatment of NSCLC cells with cholesterol resulted in a statistically significant increase in migration. Depletion of Fn14 expression via siRNA suppressed the migratory effect of cholesterol. Finally, atorvastatin calcium treatment sensitized cells to radiation treatment, reducing cell survival. These data suggest that atorvastatin calcium may inhibit NSCLC invasiveness through a mechanism involving Fn14, and may be a novel therapeutic target in NSCLC tumors expressing Fn14.
Due to artificial selection, dogs have high levels of phenotypic diversity, yet, there appears to be low genetic diversity within individual breeds. Through their domestication from wolves, dogs have gone through a series of population bottlenecks, which has resulted in a reduction in genetic diversity, with a large amount of linkage disequilibrium and the persistence of deleterious mutations. This has led to an increased susceptibility to a multitude of diseases, including cancer. To study the effects of artificial selection and life history characteristics on the risk of cancer mortality, we collected cancer mortality data from four studies as well as the percent of heterozygosity, body size, lifespan and breed group for 201 dog breeds. We also collected specific types of cancer breeds were susceptible to and compared the dog cancer mortality patterns to the patterns observed in other mammals. We found a relationship between cancer mortality rate and heterozygosity, body size, lifespan as well as breed group. Higher levels of heterozygosity were also associated with longer lifespan. These results indicate larger breeds, such as Irish Water Spaniels, Flat-coated Retrievers and Bernese Mountain Dogs, are more susceptible to cancer, with lower heterozygosity and lifespan. These breeds are also more susceptible to sarcomas, as opposed to carcinomas in smaller breeds, such as Miniature Pinschers, Chihuahuas, and Pekingese. Other mammals show that larger and long-lived animals have decreased cancer mortality, however, within dog breeds, the opposite relationship is observed. These relationships could be due to the trade-off between cellular maintenance and growing fast and large, with higher expression of growth factors, such as IGF-1. This study further demonstrates the relationships between cancer mortality, heterozygosity, and life history traits and exhibits dogs as an important model organism for understanding the relationship between genetics and health.
Cancer remains one of the leading killers throughout the world. Death and disability due to lung cancer in particular accounts for one of the largest global economic burdens a disease presents. The burden on third-world countries is especially large due to the unusually large financial stress that comes from late tumor detection and expensive treatment options. Early detection using inexpensive techniques may relieve much of the burden throughout the world, not just in more developed countries. I examined the immune responses of lung cancer patients using immunosignatures – patterns of reactivity between host serum antibodies and random peptides. Immunosignatures reveal disease-specific patterns that are very reproducible. Immunosignaturing is a chip-based method that has the ability to display the antibody diversity from individual sera sample with low cost. Immunosignaturing is a medical diagnostic test that has many applications in current medical research and in diagnosis. From a previous clinical study, patients diagnosed for lung cancer were tested for their immunosignature vs. healthy non-cancer volunteers. The pattern of reactivity against the random peptides (the ‘immunosignature’) revealed common signals in cancer patients, absent from healthy controls. My study involved the search for common amino acid motifs in the cancer-specific peptides. My search through the hundreds of ‘hits’ revealed certain motifs that were repeated more times than expected by random chance. The amino acids that were the most conserved in each set include tryptophan, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, proline, alanine, serine, and lysine. The most overall conserved amino acid observed between each set was D - aspartic acid. The motifs were short (no more than 5-6 amino acids in a row), but the total number of motifs I identified was large enough to assure significance. I utilized Excel to organize the large peptide sequence libraries, then CLUSTALW to cluster similar-sequence peptides, then GLAM2 to find common themes in groups of peptides. In so doing, I found sequences that were also present in translated cancer expression libraries (RNA) that matched my motifs, suggesting that immunosignatures can find cancer-specific antigens that can be both diagnostic and potentially 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.
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.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of liver cancer and has been shown to have genetic factors that contribute to cancer susceptibility. These genetic factors can be studied using Genome-Wide association studies (GWAS), which allow for the assessment of associations between specific biologic markers. Through GWAS, associations can be analyzed to identify genetic components that contribute to the onset of HCC. This study uses an extended version of Pathways of Distinction analysis (PoDA) to identify the subset of SNPs within the Antigen Presentation and Processing Pathway that distinguish cases from controls. Further analysis was performed to explore SNP-SNP association differences between HCC cases and controls using R-squared values and p-values. Three SNPs show significant inter-SNP associations in both HCC cases and controls. Additionally, 4 SNPs showed significant SNP-SNP associations exclusively in the control data set, possibly suggesting that control pathways have a greater degree of genetic regulation and robustness that is lost in carcinogenesis. This result suggests that these SNP associations may contribute to HCC susceptibility.
Background: High risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV) are known to cause cancer, including cervical (99%) and oropharyngeal cancer (70%). HPV type 16 is the most common subtype. Three antigens that are critical for integration or tumor progression are E2, E6 and E7. In this study, we developed a systematic approach to identify naturally-processed HPV16-derived HLA class I epitopes for immunotherapy development. Methods: K562 cells, which lack HLA expression, were transduced with each HPV16 antigen using lentivirus and supertransfected with HLA-A2 by nucleofection. Stable cell lines expressing each antigen were selected for and maintained throughout the investigation. In order to establish a Gateway-compatible vector for robust transient gene expression, a Gateway recombination expression cloning cassette was inserted into the commercial Lonza pMAX GFP backbone, which has been experimentally shown to display high transfection expression efficiency. GFP was cloned into the vector and plain K562 cells were transfected with the plasmid by nucleofection. Results: Expression of K562-A2 was tested at various time points by flow cytometry and A2 expression was confirmed. Protein expression was shown for the transduced K562 E7 by Western blot analysis. High transfection efficiency of the pMAX_GFP_Dest vector (up to 97% GFP+ cells) was obtained 48 hours post transfection, comparable to the commercial GFP-plasmid. Conclusion: We have established a rapid system for target viral antigen co-expression with single HLA molecules for analysis of antigen presentation. Using HPV as a model system, our goal is to identify specific antigenic peptide sequences to develop immunotherapeutic treatments for HPV-associated cancers.
Current studies in Multiple Myeloma suggest that patient tumors and cell lines cluster separately based on gene expression profiles. Hyperdiploid patients are also extremely underrepresented in established human myeloma cell lines (HMCLs). This suggests that the average HMCL model system does not accurately represent the average myeloma patient. To investigate this question we performed a combined CNA and SNV evolutionary comparison between four myeloma tumors and their established HMCLs (JMW-1, VP-6, KAS-6/1-KAS-6/2 and KP-6). We identified copy number changes shared between the tumors and their cell lines (mean of 74 events - 59%), those unique to patients (mean of 21.25 events - 17%), and those only in the cell lines (mean of 30.75 events \u2014 24%). A relapse sample from the JMW-1 patient showed 58% similarity to the primary diagnostic tumor. These data suggest that, on the level of copy number abnormalities, HMCLs show equal levels of evolutionary divergence as that observed within patients. By exome sequencing, patient tumors were 71% similar to their representative HMCLs, with ~12.5% and ~16.5% of SNVs unique to the tumors and HMCLs respectively. The HMCLs studied appear highly representative of the patient from which they were derived, with most differences associated with an enrichment of sub-populations present in the primary tumor. Additionally, our analysis of the KP-6 aCGH data showed that the patient's hyperdiploid karyotype was maintained in its respective HMCL. This discovery confirms the establishment and validation of a novel and potentially clinically relevant hyperdiploid HMCL that could provide a major advance in our ability to understand the pathogenesis and progression of this prominent patient population.
Despite the 40-year war on cancer, very limited progress has been made in developing a cure for the disease. This failure has prompted the reevaluation of the causes and development of cancer. One resulting model, coined the atavistic model of cancer, posits that cancer is a default phenotype of the cells of multicellular organisms which arises when the cell is subjected to an unusual amount of stress. Since this default phenotype is similar across cell types and even organisms, it seems it must be an evolutionarily ancestral phenotype. We take a phylostratigraphical approach, but systematically add species divergence time data to estimate gene ages numerically and use these ages to investigate the ages of genes involved in cancer. We find that ancient disease-recessive cancer genes are significantly enriched for DNA repair and SOS activity, which seems to imply that a core component of cancer development is not the regulation of growth, but the regulation of mutation. Verification of this finding could drastically improve cancer treatment and prevention.