Use of PLOP-FISH Probes to Detect MDM2 Gene Copy Number in Tumor Cells
MetadataShow full item record
Cancer is a dangerous disease that threatens the lives of millions each year. Great strides have been made in treating and curing cancer, but there is still much to be done. The research described in this report aimed to develop a potential method of diagnosis of cancer severity. The goal was to develop a tool that could be used to determine if a certain tumorous cell type had an increased number of a tumor promoting gene. The method was to analyze copy number of a gene that has been implicated in increased growth of tumor cells through the design of probes, or short sequences of nucleotide bases, that complemented the gene of interest. The probes had fluorescent molecules attached to them that could be viewed using a fluorescence microscope. Using a common laboratory technique, probes were introduced to cells and allowed to bind to their complementary sequence within the genome. Once the probes were bound, cells were viewed under a fluorescence microscope and the areas with fluorescent dots were considered to be potential areas of binding. Data was planned to be analyzed by first assuming that two genes per genome was a regular amount, so if the fluorescent molecules indicated that there were more than two gene copies in one cell, then it had an abnormally high number of copies. Results were inconclusive, however, the methodology developed in the project has opened new avenues for future research. Using what was discovered about what did and did not work in this project, researchers can continue to investigate if tumor cells have increased copy numbers of tumor promoting genes using the methodology developed in this study.