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Analysis for antitumor antibody signatures in lung cancer using two different random peptide libraries

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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

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.

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Date Created
  • 2015-12

Flight performance and thermal tolerance of flies acclimated to hypoxia or hyperoxia

Description

Animals are thought to die at high temperatures because proteins and cell membranes lose their structural integrity. Alternatively, a newer hypothesis (the oxygen and capacity limitation of thermal tolerance, or

Animals are thought to die at high temperatures because proteins and cell membranes lose their structural integrity. Alternatively, a newer hypothesis (the oxygen and capacity limitation of thermal tolerance, or OCLTT) states that death occurs because oxygen supply becomes limited at high temperatures. Consequently, animals exposed to hypoxia are more sensitive to heating than those exposed to normoxia or hyperoxia. We hypothesized that animals raised in hypoxia would acclimate to the low oxygen supply, thereby making them less sensitive to heating. Such acclimation would be expressed as greater heat tolerance and better flight performance in individuals raised at lower oxygen concentrations. We raised flies (Drosophila melanogaster) from eggs to adults under oxygen concentrations ranging from 10% to 31% and measured two aspects of thermal tolerance: 1) the time required for flies to lose motor function at 39.5°C at normoxia (21%), referred to as knock-down time, and 2) flight performance at 37°, 39°, or 41°C and 12%, 21%, or 31% oxygen. Contrary to our prediction, flies from all treatments had the same knock-down time. However, flight performance at hypoxia was greatest for flies raised in hypoxia, but flight performance at normoxia and hyperoxia was greatest for flies raised at hyperoxia. Thus, flight performance acclimated to oxygen supply during development, but heat tolerance did not. Our data does not support the OCLTT hypothesis, but instead supports the beneficial acclimation hypothesis, which proposes that acclimation improves the function of an organism during environmental change.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05