This proposal is Christina Springstead Scanlon's first submission for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) Individual National Research Service Award (NRSA) Predoctoral Dental Scientist Fellowship (F30). The one year award will allow Christina to continue her graduate education in clinical dentistry and in the Oral Health Sciences PhD Program at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. Furthermore, the grant will allow her to pursue her career plan to become an independent investigator. The overall objective of this application is to determine the extent to which nuclear factor of activated T-cells cytoplasmic, calcineurin dependent 2 (NFATc2) regulates galanin receptor 2 (GALR2)- mediated progression of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) via release of inflammatory cytokines. HNSCC is the sixth most common cancer in the world. The survival rate has not changed in more than forty years nor have any novel therapeutic agents been developed. HNSCC tumor cells secrete prostaglandin (PGE2) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 2 and 9, which have an important role in tumor progression. Knowledge of this signaling cascade will facilitate the development of targeted therapeutics. The central hypothesis of this proposal is that GALR2 promotes invasion and migration of HNSCC via downstream activation of NFATc2 with subsequent secretion of PGE2, MMP-2 and MMP-9.
The aims of this proposal are: 1) to determine the mechanism by which GalR2 induces NFATc2-mediated cytokine secretion in HNSCC, and 2) to determine the extent to which NFATc2-mediated cytokine secretion promotes invasion of HNSCC in vitro and in vivo.

Public Health Relevance

The research proposed in this grant application will uncover the roles of proteins involved in the migration and invasion of head and neck cancer cells, processes which are important in the disease progression of oral cancer. The goals of this proposal are to develop new treatment strategies for head and neck cancer treatment, as well as to support the career development and research of Christina Springstead Scanlon, a DDS/PhD student who is training to become a clinician-scientist.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Individual Predoctoral NRSA for M.D./Ph.D. Fellowships (ADAMHA) (F30)
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NIDCR Special Grants Review Committee (DSR)
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Frieden, Leslie A
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Schools of Dentistry
Ann Arbor
United States
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Scanlon, Christina Springstead; Banerjee, Rajat; Inglehart, Ronald C et al. (2015) Galanin modulates the neural niche to favour perineural invasion in head and neck cancer. Nat Commun 6:6885
Banerjee, Rajat; Van Tubergen, Elizabeth A; Scanlon, Christina S et al. (2014) The G protein-coupled receptor GALR2 promotes angiogenesis in head and neck cancer. Mol Cancer Ther 13:1323-33
Inglehart, Ronald C; Scanlon, Christina S; D'Silva, Nisha J (2014) Reviewing and reconsidering invasion assays in head and neck cancer. Oral Oncol 50:1137-43
Liu, Min; Scanlon, Christina Springstead; Banerjee, Rajat et al. (2013) The Histone Methyltransferase EZH2 Mediates Tumor Progression on the Chick Chorioallantoic Membrane Assay, a Novel Model of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Transl Oncol 6:273-81
Scanlon, C S; Van Tubergen, E A; Inglehart, R C et al. (2013) Biomarkers of epithelial-mesenchymal transition in squamous cell carcinoma. J Dent Res 92:114-21
Scanlon, Christina S; Van Tubergen, Elizabeth A; Chen, Leng-Chun et al. (2013) Characterization of squamous cell carcinoma in an organotypic culture via subsurface non-linear optical molecular imaging. Exp Biol Med (Maywood) 238:1233-41
Scanlon, Cs; Marchesan, Jt; Soehren, S et al. (2011) Capturing the regenerative potential of periodontal ligament fibroblasts. J Stem Cells Regen Med 7:54-6