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Title: Functional study for the characterisation and validation of IFNAI as a tumour suppressor gene in melanoma pathogenesis
Author: Serrai, Hiba
ISNI:       0000 0004 5351 3555
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2014
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The complexity of melanoma is pronounced at many levels, whereby both environmental influences and genetic predisposition are involved and interact. Embedded within this complexity is heterogeneity, a defining characteristic of this malignancy. The rearrangement of genomic material on chromosomes 1p, 6q, 9p or 10q, 11q and 17q has been frequently reported during the development and progression of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM), suggesting several putative tumour suppressor genes and oncogenes in these regions. The genomic complexity of chromosome 9p21 in melanoma development is well documented. This region encodes a potent cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor CDKN2/INK4A/p16 as a tumour suppressor gene (TSG) that is frequently inactivated in melanomas. Functional evidence suggested the presence of additional TSG loci in the 9p21-22 chromosome region (Parris et al., 1999). In pursuit of identifying novel TSG(s), our previous group’s collaborative research provided experimental evidence that suggests IFNA1 as a candidate TSG for melanoma development. Therefore, the aim of this work was to provide a further functional validation of such tumour-suppressive activity in CMM. Firstly, I have successfully subcloned IFNA1 cDNA into pcDNA3 expression vector and established a panel of stably IFNA1-expressing clones. Subsequently, I have assessed their tumourigenicity in soft agar by measuring the colony-forming ability of each transfected clone. Expression analyses of IFNA1, at both post-transcriptional and translational levels, were also carried out. I have also demonstrated a strong correlation between anchorage-independent growth in soft agar and IFNA1 expression in qRT-PCR. The antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic effects of IFNα have been widely documented, however, the precise mechanisms that trigger and potentiate this behaviour are not completely known. Based on previous findings, I have investigated whether IFNA1 exerts its antitumoural activity through apoptosis. I was able to demonstrate a moderate relationship between anchorage-independent growth in soft agar and the apoptotic levels in the transfected clones. Although unpersuasive and inconclusive, the results seemed encouraging since this study was carried out using only the highly tumourigenic malignant melanoma UACC903 cell line.
Supervisor: Parris, C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Interferon Alpha-1 ; UACC903 cellline