Head and neck cancer (HNSCC) includes malignant tumors belonging to a heterogeneous class, affecting tissues located in the upper portion of the neck, such as the lip, oral cavity, nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, larynx and pharynx, with the HNSCC being the sixth most common type of cancer in the world. Even with the development of targeted therapies, the death rate of this disease is still high. Late diagnosis, the appearance of secondary tumors and metastasis are the main factors associated with the low survival of patients affected by HNSCC. During the carcinogenesis process, innumerable modifications that aim to alter the cellular regulation process start to occur. Mutations and alterations in the expression of the KRAS oncogene lead to an increase in the capacity of proliferation, resistance, survival of tumor cells and angiogenesis, modifications that play a fundamental role in the initiation and progression of cancer, in addition to favoring the development of metastasis. MiRNAs are small, non-coding regulatory RNA molecules that can regulate post-transcriptional expression of multiple target genes, a single miRNA can act on hundreds of mRNAs and influence the expression of genes involved in cellular regulation and interaction pathways. Thus, this project intends to confirm the relationship between the KRAS gene and the microRNAs (miR-17-5p e miR-150-5p) in the regulation of its expression, and contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms of cancer development and increase knowledge in diagnoses, prevention and treatment at the HNSCC. The cell lines HN13 and FADU will be cultured and the transfection technique will be performed. After the incubation period, the cells will be harvested for RNA and protein extraction and, subsequently, gene expression, microRNA and protein analyzes will be performed.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: