Quantitative Proteinarrays

Coordinator:    Dr. Ulrike Korf
Institution: DKFZ Heidelberg
Cells need to react simultaneously to different  signals such as the binding of hormones and growth factors to their corresponding receptors to maintain the balance among physiological processes such as cell division, differentiation, and cell death. This requires intracellular measures to quickly integrate receptor-mediated information. Intracellular phosphorylation and dephosphorylation processes of key signaling proteins play an important role in this respect. However, these processes are organized as complex feedback loops and described with the term "signaltransduction".

However, in tumors the physiological balance is frequently disturbed by the overproduction of a certain protein or through the expression of mutated proteins with altered function. For example, in breast cancer the overexpression of the estrogen receptor alpha and of the growth factor co-receptor HER2 are described.
The primary goal of this subproject is therefore a quantitative and time-resolved analysis of the cross talk between hormone- and growth factor receptors in breast cancer cell lines using quantitative and highly sensitive protein microarrays.
Protein microarrays will also be employed for the subsequent clinical validation of the identified key signaling proteins in biopsy samples.  Furthermore, a multiplexed highly sensitive platform will be developed to detect tumor specific proteolytic proteins and cytokines in human serum and to employ this platform for the identification of breast-cancer specific profiles.   
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