Analysis of potential biomarkers for Human Papillomavirus - related cervical carcinogenesis
Universidade do Estado de Pernambuco (UPE)
Biological Sciences Institute (ICB), University of Pernambuco (UPE), Avenue Agamenon Magalhães, Santo Amaro, CEP 50.100-130, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil.
Eliane Campos Coimbra
Eliane Campos Coimbra
English, Spanish and Portuguese
4 weeks
Cities/Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Augt Sep Oct Nov Dec
No No Yes Yes No No No No No No Yes No
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting women worldwide and is linked to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. This type of cancer is preceded by preventable precancerous lesions; however, conventional screening tests lack both sensitivity (in the Pap test) and specificity (in the HPV test). Hence, there is an urgent need for new effective biomarkers to improve the triage tests and determine how affected women can be treated in an appropriate way. The evaluation of changes in expression of molecules is important in cervical carcinogenesis since it allows important strategic targets to be set for diagnosis and molecularly targeted therapy.
What is the aim of the project?
The aim of the project is to investigate the changes of expression in molecular targets (mRNAs, microRNAs and proteins), as well as their correlation, in clinical samples that include all premalignant conditions (CIN1, CIN2 and CIN3) and cancer.
What techniques and methods are used?
HPV detection will be performed in the samples (cervical biopsies from patients) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) after extraction and purification of total DNA with Trizol (Ambion, Life Technologies, Carlsbad, CA, USA) and a DNeasy Blood & Tissue Kit (Qiagen), respectively. The second step is the total RNA extraction from biopsies and cDNA synthesis with the aid of the miRNA Absolutely RNA Kit (Agilent Technologies, San Diego, CA, USA), and miScript II RT kit (Qiagen), respectively. Then, miRNA and mRNA expression levels will be obtained by quantitative real time PCR (or qPCR). Also, protein expression profiles will be assessed by immunohistochemical analysis of cervical tissues. All the obtained data will be evaluated by statistical analysis.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will mainly observe
- 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 perform various tasks to support the development of project, including DNA and RNA extraction, qPCR. In laboratory experiences, the student may learn to use the tools of science. For example, the student develops skills in using scientific equipment correctly and safely, making observations, taking measurements, and carrying out well-defined scientific procedures. The student must developing teamwork abilities in carrying out the tasks, to share the work of the task, to assume different roles at different times, and to contribute and respond to ideas.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Yes, there will be preliminary readings and seminars.
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
- The student will prepare a scientific report
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
No previous skills required.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
- Graduated students (less than 6 months)
- Students in biomedical fields
- Freitas AC; Coimbra EC and Leitão MD: Molecular targets of HPV oncoproteins: Potential biomarkers for cervical carcinogenesis. Biochim Biophys Acta 1845: 91–103; 2014
- Coimbra EC et al. Expression Profile of MicroRNA-203 and its ΔNp63 Target in Cervical Carcinogenesis: Prospects for Cervical Cancer Screening. Anticancer Res. 2016 Aug;36(8):3939-46