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Research Abstracts Online
January - December 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Academic Health Center
Masonic Cancer Center

PI: Julie H. Ostrander

Multidisciplinary Biomarkers of Early Mammary Carcinogenesis

This research focuses on identifying biomarkers to identify pre-invasive breast cancer and response to chemoprevention. PELP1 is a transcriptional nuclear activator of ER-signaling. Cytoplasmic expression of PELP1 in breast cancer cells triggers constitutive activation of AKT and results in Tam-resistance. The objective of the current research is to determine if PELP1 localization predicts response to Tam during early mammary carcinogenesis. The focus of a separate project is to use endogenous fluorophores to exploit differences in normal, high-risk breast tissues, and breast cancer. The endogenous fluorophores NADH and FAD are two of the principle electron donors and acceptors in cellular metabolism, respectively. The optical redox ratio is a measure of cellular metabolism and can be determined by the ratio of NADH/FAD. This researcher has found that the optical redox ratio is higher in breast cancer cell lines compared to normal mammary epithelial cells. Additionally, she observed a statistically significant increase in the optical redox ratio of ER(+) breast cancer cell lines. The overall goal of this research is to determine if autofluorescence spectroscopy can detect high-risk pre-invasive breast changes from normal breast tissue. The project uses MSI for access to programs that can analyze DNA sequences generated from sequencing plasmids and small pieces of DNA amplified by PCR.