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MELK expression pattern by normal (RWPE-1) and tumoral (LNCaP ánd PC3) prostatic epithelial cells under different culture conditions

Grant number: 15/09947-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2015
Effective date (End): July 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology - Cytology and Cell Biology
Principal Investigator:Sérgio Luis Felisbino
Grantee:Nicolly Cezar Cruz
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IBB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil


Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most common malignancy in men and the second leading cause of male cancer-related deaths in the Western world. Using RNA sequencing global gene expression analysis on two genetic engineered mouse models of prostate cancer (ongoing project) and crossing these data with published human prostate cancer data sets, we have identified MELK (Maternal Embryonic Leucine zipper Kinase) as a cancer over expressed kinase and possible therapeutic target. This project aims to characterize the pattern of MELK expression by three cell lines of prostate epithelial cells, one normal (RWPE-1) and two malignant (LNCaP and PC3) and under different culture conditions. These three cell lines will be grown in their respective media, in which will be added or not testosterone, flutamide and fibronectin, separately. MELK protein expression will be evaluated by immunocytochemistry on confocal microscopy and gene expression by qPCR. These results will reveal if androgen regulation and matrix adhesion plays a role in MELK expression pattern by these cells and will provide support information for future functional studies using Melk synthetic inhibitors or siRNAs. In this sense, we hope to contribute for the evaluation of MELK as a potential therapeutic target for prostate cancer treatment, mainly for the castration resistant prostate cancer type.

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