Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Cancer Research
Joshua Soto-Ocana - University of Puerto Rico- Mayaguez Campus
Co-Author(s): Ian W. Folkert, University of Pennsylvania, PA; Malay Haldar, University of Pennsylvania, PA
Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are rare malignant tumors that arise from mesodermal tissues such as adipose, muscle, nerves, lymphatic and endothelium. They are very heterogeneous with more than sixty distinct histological subtypes. Each year approximately 12,000 new cases are diagnosed in the U.S. from which 5,000 end up being fatal. While conventional treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy can be effective in early stages, advanced STS have very bad prognosis. Factors that promote STS progression are poorly understood. It has been shown that the receptors for the Th2 cytokine Interleukin-13 (IL-13) are over expressed in a variety of solid tumors. However, the role of IL-13 signaling in sarcomas is not clear. In house microarray-based gene expression analysis of a murine sarcoma, revealed the presence of IL-13 and its receptors in these tumors. IL-13 expression was subsequently confirmed by Immunohistochemistry (IHC). Next, we investigated the effect of IL-13 on murine sarcoma cell lines in vitro by the means of Real Time Quantitative PCR (rt-qPCR). The data obtained from the rt-qPCR was transformed into a fold change, this way we were able to study the change in expression between the untreated cells (control) and treated cells with IL-13. Treatment with IL-13 robustly induced the expression of Endothelin-1 (Edn1), which has known roles in tumor progression and metastasis. High levels of Edn1 were also confirmed in tumor samples by IHC. These results suggest that the link between IL-13 and Edn1 expression in sarcomas may have a role in tumor progression. Future work in the laboratory will explore this hypothesis and investigate the molecular underpinnings of Edn1 regulation by IL-13.Not Submitted
Funder Acknowledgement(s): I thank the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the National Institute of Health (NIH) Grant #.5R25HL084665 and the Biomedical Graduate Studies (BGS) at the University of Pennsylvania for the funding provided. Also, I want to thank the Office of Research and Diversity Training - Perlman School of Medicine for the opportunity of being part of the summer program.
Faculty Advisor: Malay Haldar, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I was completely involved on the research that was done. The only part that was already done before I arrived to the laboratory during the summer was the microarray-based gene expression analysis.