The Cellular and Transgenic Phenotyping Core will provide a service-oriented resource along with ongoing technique development and optimization that will ensure the efficiency and productivity of project investigators in the functional evaluation of candidate pancreatic cancer sequences. This will be accomplished through the centralized and standardized use of both in vitro, cell based assays as well as detailed assessment of in vivo phenotypes in mouse, zebrafish, and xenograft models. The mouse is a well- characterized mammalian model system with an extensive genetic toolbox available for genetic manipulations to generate autochthonous tumors, immunodeficient strains that facilitate direct in vivo analysis of human cancer cells as xenografts, and a track record of relevance to human cancer biology and therapeutics. Zebrafish are an emerging cancer genetics model and developmental model that arecost efficient, permit high throughput in vivo vertebrate genetic screens, and can be efficiently analyzed due to their small size at maturity and optical clarity during development. Core A will provide centralized services for the efficient use and histological analysis of these models according to standardized criteria.
The Specific Aims are:
Aim 1) to provide histopathology interpretation, histological proliferation analysis, and gene pathway evaluation of mouse and zebrafish tissues supplied by Projects 1,2,3, and 4;
and Aim 2) to apply and refine ectopic and orthotopic xenograft models in immunodeficient mice for in vivo evaluation of the function of candidate pancreatic cancer sequences including genes or microRNA sequences using in vivo tumorigenicity, tumor growth, stromal development, and metastasis assays for Projects 2,3, and 4.

Public Health Relevance

(Seeinstructions): Functional characterizationof the genes and microRNA'sinvolved in pancreatic cancer will lead to the discovery of new targets for treatment of pancreatic cancer which are desperately needed. The zebrafish and mouse models characterized in this proposal will in the future also serve as ideal tools for validation and safety testing of these new treatments before moving the new therapies into human clinical trials.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Program Projects (P01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-GRB-S)
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Johns Hopkins University
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