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Enhancement of molecular techniques for the study of tumor cells using lung cancer as a model

Grant number: 15/00831-5
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 16, 2015
Effective date (End): June 18, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology - Cytology and Cell Biology
Principal researcher:Flávia Karina Delella
Grantee:Brenda de Carvalho Minatel
Supervisor abroad: Wan L. Lam
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IBB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil
Research place: BC Cancer Agency's Vancouver Centre, Canada  
Associated to the scholarship:13/07107-5 - MicroRNAs 125b, 221 and 222 in LNCaP prostatic tumoral cells cultivated with fibronectin, BP.IC


Cancer is a disease caused by genetic and epigenetic alterations that disrupt the processes of proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. Many mechanisms underlying tumor development and progression are still unknown and in vitro studies have been an important tool for discovering molecular pathways involved in these processes, which are crucial for the development of novel therapeutic and diagnostic strategies. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a large family of non-coding RNA about 17 to 25 nucleotides long that have been implicated in the regulation of various biological processes by post-transcriptional modulation of gene expression. In cancer, the expression of miRNAs is characteristic for each type of tissue, tumor stage and clinical variations. In general, miRNAs may be over- or down-regulated in tumor cells - when over-expressed they can act as oncogenes for having the ability to repress tumor suppressors or apoptosis-related genes, and when down-regulated they act as tumor suppressors for having the ability to repress oncogenes or genes associated with cell proliferation. For the first time, Dr. Wan Lam's Lab has recently described a miRNA expression profile of human fetal lung. In this study, Dr. Lam's team detected miRNAs that exhibit similar expression levels between fetal lung and non-malignant lung tissue, which may play roles in lung tissue maintenance, and also identified multiple miRNAs with similar expression patterns between fetal lung and lung tumors. These findings lead to the identification of pathways involved in cell proliferation and angiogenesis that may have critical roles in tumorigenesis and represent ideal therapeutic targets for cancer treatment. Considering the importance of cellular models that better mimic physiologic tissues and tumor environment, this project aims to give the opportunity of learning new techniques that are extremely important in cancer research and that are not currently performed in our university, such as invasion assays, cell viability and proliferation analysis, clonogenic assays and luciferase assays. All the techniques described above will be developed during the international internship at Dr. Wan Lam's laboratory at BC Cancer Agency, which is specialized in lung cancer research. (AU)

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