NAME: William Patterson
PROJECT TITLE: Prostate Cancer and Epigenetics
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Prostate cancer (PCa) is currently the second most common cause of death in males in the United States. The prevention and treatment of this disease has been the focus of intensive research activity. At the same time as the expression of a subset of specific genes have been identified as accurate markers for the detection of prostate cancer, researchers have simultaneously noticed a specific pattern of histones (main protein component of chromatin) modifications associated with a high risk of developing or recurring PCa. These modifications of histones H3 and H4 include a combination of acetylation (H3 Lysine 18 and H4 Lysine 14) and methylation (H3
Lysine 4 di-methylation and H4 Arginine 3 di-methylation). The availability of antibodies that can specifically recognize these modifications in combination with the on-going development of a nano-detection device by a group of researchers from WVU in collaboration with Dr. Georgel, lead us to the idea of engineering a biological
interface for early detection of PCa markers. The proposed research described in this proposal describes the design and implementation of a biological component for such a device. We will be using our expertise in chromatin and cell culture to create a molecular “grabber” and a detection method aimed at recognizing the PCaspecific
pattern of histone modifications. The biological material will be isolated and purified by conventional molecular biology methods. The molecular “grabber” and detection system will be developed from standard antibody technology combined with the use of quantum dots (a semi-conductor that can emit different color lights upon UV irradiation). We expect to establish proof of concept by using only one type of quantum dotconjugated antibody in combination with histones isolated from normal prostate and PCa cell lines.