Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2009
Mentor: Mark Mummert, PhD
Mail Code: 9069
Phone number: 8-4593
Project title: Evaluation of FRET-HA for cellular imaging
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): N/A
Animal subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): N/A
Project Type (patient-based research, animal-based research, or basic research; this characterization is only to permit a general classification for grouping similar types of projects): Basic
Brief Description of Project:
The hyaluronidases are a family of enzymes that degrade the glycosaminoglycan, hyaluronan. In mammals, all members of the hyaluronidase family have a common hydrolytic mechanism for catalysis. Many different tumor types, including malignant melanomas over express members of the hyaluronidase family. Indeed, over expression of the hyaluronidases may be correlated with the angiogenic potential of melanomas. Despite the potential importance of the hyaluronidase family of enzymes in cancer biology probes to study their intracellular activity in living cells have not been developed. Recently, we have generated a novel fluorescent hyaluronan substrate (termed FRET-HA) that fluoresces strongly only after hydrolytic digestion. Thus, FRET-HA may be a new probe for the quantitative imaging of melanoma tumors in vivo and melanoma cells/ spheroids in vitro. Our goal for this summer research fellowship is to test the utility of FRET-HA for cellular imaging using a panel of melanoma cell lines (B16-F1, B16-F10 and WM-115). Briefly, Ms. Edelman will co-culture melanoma cells with FRET-HA in dose and time dependent fashions. She will then evaluate the fluorescence signals generated from hydrolyzed FRET-HA using confocal microscopy. These studies will allow us to ascertain the usefulness of FRET-HA as a probe for cellular imaging. Maintenance of the melanoma cells as well as the preparation of media and buffers will performed by our research technician (Henry Greyner, B.S., M.S.).
Previous Research Activities or Publications with Medical Students:
Zmolik JM, Mummert ME. Pep-1 as a novel probe for the in situ detection of hyaluronan. J Histochem Cytochem 53:745-752, 2005.