Matching Items (3)

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Genome-driven targeted cancer therapy

Description

Cancer is a heterogeneous disease with discrete oncogenic mechanisms. P53 mutation is the most common oncogenic mutation in many cancers including breast cancer. This dissertation focuses on fundamental genetic alterations

Cancer is a heterogeneous disease with discrete oncogenic mechanisms. P53 mutation is the most common oncogenic mutation in many cancers including breast cancer. This dissertation focuses on fundamental genetic alterations enforced by p53 mutation as an indirect target. p53 mutation upregulates the mevalonate pathway genes altering cholesterol biosynthesis and prenylation. Prenylation, a lipid modification, is required for small GTPases signaling cascades. Project 1 demonstrates that prenylation inhibition can specifically target cells harboring p53 mutation resulting in reduced tumor proliferation and migration. Mutating p53 is associated with Ras and RhoA activation and statin prevents this activity by inhibiting prenylation. Ras-related pathway genes were selected from the transcriptomic analysis for evaluating correlation to statin sensitivity. A gene signature of seventeen genes and TP53 genotype (referred to as MPR signature) is generated to predict response to statins. MPR signature is validated through two datasets of drug screening in cell lines. As advancements in targeted gene modification are rising, the CRISPR-Cas9 technology has emerged as a new cancer therapeutic strategy. One of the important risk factors in gene therapy is the immune recognition of the exogenous therapeutic tool, resulting in obstruction of treatment and possibly serious health consequences. Project 2 describes a method development that can potentially improve the safety and efficacy of gene-targeting proteins. A cohort of 155 healthy individuals was screened for pre-existing B cell and T cell immune response to the S. pyogenes Cas9 protein. We detected antibodies against Cas9 in more than 10% of the healthy population and identified two immunodominant T cell epitopes of this protein. A de-immunized Cas9 that maintains the wild-type functionality was engineered by mutating the identified T cell epitopes. The gene signature and method described here have the potential to improve strategies for genome-driven tumor targeting.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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A focused poly(aminoether) library for transgene delivery to cancer cells

Description

Cancer diseases are among the leading cause of death in the United States. Advanced cancer diseases are characterized by genetic defects resulting in uncontrollable cell growth. Currently, chemotherapeutics are

Cancer diseases are among the leading cause of death in the United States. Advanced cancer diseases are characterized by genetic defects resulting in uncontrollable cell growth. Currently, chemotherapeutics are one of the mainstream treatments administered to cancer patients but are less effective if administered in the later stages of metastasis, and can result in unwanted side effects and broad toxicities. Therefore, current efforts have explored gene therapy as an alternative strategy to correct the genetic defects associated with cancer diseases, by administering genes which encode for proteins that result in cell death. While the use of viral vectors shows high level expression of the delivered transgene, the potential for insertion mutagenesis and activation of immune responses raise concern in clinical applications. Non-viral vectors, including cationic lipids and polymers, have been explored as potentially safer alternatives to viral delivery systems. These systems are advantageous for transgene delivery due to ease of synthesis, scale up, versatility, and in some cases due to their biodegradability and biocompatibility. However, low efficacies for transgene expression and high cytotoxicities limit the practical use of these polymers. In this work, a small library of twenty-one cationic polymers was synthesized following a ring opening polymerization of diglycidyl ethers (epoxides) by polyamines. The polymers were screened in parallel and transfection efficacies of individual polymers were compared to those of polyethylenimine (PEI), a current standard for polymer-mediated transgene delivery. Seven lead polymers that demonstrated higher transgene expression efficacies than PEI in pancreatic and prostate cancer cells lines were identified from the screening. A second related effort involved the generation of polymer-antibody conjugates in order to facilitate targeting of delivered plasmid DNA selectively to cancer cells. Future work with the novel lead polymers and polymer-antibody conjugates developed in this research will involve an investigation into the delivery of transgenes encoding for apoptosis-inducing proteins both in vitro and in vivo.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Characterization of the E3L amino-terminus in poxvirus replication and tumor regression

Description

Host organisms have evolved multiple mechanisms to defend against a viral infection and likewise viruses have evolved multiple methods to subvert the host's anti-viral immune response. Vaccinia virus (VACV)

Host organisms have evolved multiple mechanisms to defend against a viral infection and likewise viruses have evolved multiple methods to subvert the host's anti-viral immune response. Vaccinia virus (VACV) is known to contain numerous proteins involved in blocking the cellular anti-viral immune response. The VACV E3L protein is important for inhibiting the anti-viral immune response and deletions within this gene lead to a severe attenuation. In particular, VACV containing N-terminal truncations in E3L are attenuated in animal models and fail to replicate in murine JC cells. Monkeypox virus (MPXV) F3L protein is a homologue of the VACV E3L protein, however it is predicted to contain a 37 amino acid N-terminal truncation. Despite containing an N-terminal truncation in the E3L homologue, MPXV is able to inhibit the anti-viral immune response similar to wild-type VACV and able to replicate in JC cells. This suggests that MPXV has evolved another mechanism(s) to counteract host defenses and promote replication in JC cells. MPXV produces less dsRNA than VACV during the course of an infection, which may explain why MPXV posses a phenotype similar to VACV, despite containing a truncated E3L homologue. The development of oncolytic viruses as a therapy for cancer has gained interest in recent years. Oncolytic viruses selectively replicate in and destroy cancerous cells and leave normal cells unharmed. Many tumors possess dysregulated anti-viral signaling pathways, since these pathways can also regulate cell growth. Creating a mutation in the N-terminus of the VACV-E3L protein generates an oncolytic VACV that depends on dysregulated anti-viral signaling pathways for replication allowing for direct targeting of the cancerous cells. VACV-E3Ldel54N selectively replicates in numerous cancer cells lines and not in the normal cell lines. Additionally, VACV-E3Ldel54N is safe and effective in causing tumor regression in a xenograph mouse model. Lastly, VACV-E3Ldel54N was capable of spreading from the treated tumors to the untreated tumors in both a xenograph and syngeneic mouse model. These data suggest that VACV-E3Ldel54N could be an effective oncolytic virus for the treatment of cancer.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2010