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The importance of cell metabolism in male fertility and carcinogenesis
Portugal ( PorMSIC) - University Beira Interior, Covilha
CICS-UBI - Health Sciences Research Centre
Prof. Ana Paula Duarte
Prof. Silvia Socorro, Doctor Sara Correia and Doctor Catia Vaz
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Cancer and testicular cells commonly display unique metabolic properties that ensure the proper energy supply to support their survival and high proliferative rates. Moreover, the metabolic reprogramming of cancer cells is recognized as a hallmark of cancer, which is being exploited as a therapeutic option. In the recent years, other research groups and ours have demonstrated that the metabolic rewiring of prostate cancer cells is linked to progression/aggressiveness of disease, and that the sex steroids androgens fuel testicular and prostatic metabolism. Also, it has been shown that testis and prostate cells can adapt metabolism dependently on the environmental conditions. Despite several lines of evidence have linked obesity and diabetes to prostate cancer and male infertility, there is no clear understanding how lipid and glucose availability alter testicular and prostatic physiology towards pathological conditions.
What is the aim of the project?
The present project aims to establish the importance of metabolic and hormonal alterations driven for example, by obesity and diabetes, in male fertility and cancer.
What techniques and methods are used?
Tissue/ Cell culture, cell viability/apoptosis assays, RNA/protein extraction, cDNA synthesis, Real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction, Western Blot, Enzyme activity assays.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student will assist research group members and, whenever appropriate, would perform some independent laboratory work in the following techniques: tissue/ Cell culture, cell viability/apoptosis assays, RNA/protein extraction, cDNA synthesis, Real-time PCR, Western Blot, Enzyme activity assays.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Yes, the student will be asked to read articles related to the topic, mainly those published by the host research group, and to attend the seminars scheduled at the CICS-UBI or FCS.
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a presentation
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students - Pre-Medical students from the American-British system - Students in biomedical fields
- Vaz CV; Marques R; Alves MG; Oliveira PF; Cavaco JE; Maia CJ; Socorro S (2016) Androgens enhance the glycolytic metabolism and lactate export in prostate cancer cells by modulating the expression of GLUT1; GLUT3; PFK; LDH and MCT4 genes J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 142(1):5-16.
- Alves MG; Martins AD; Vaz CV; Correia S; Moreira PI; Oliveira PF; Socorro S (2014) Metformin and male reproduction: effects in Sertoli cell metabolism. Br J Pharmacol 171(4):1033-1042
- Vaz CV; Alves MG; Marques R; Moreira PI; Oliveira PF; Maia C; Socorro S (2012). Androgen- responsive and nonresponsive prostate cancer cells present a distinct glycolytic metabolism profile Int J Biochem Cell Biol 44 (11): 2077-2084.
- Oliveira; PF; Alves MG; Rato L; Laurentino S; Silva J; S
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