Centrosome organisation in colon cancer
£73,653 in autumn 2008 to the School of Biological Sciences at the UEA for a 3 year project to study a possible marker for colon cancer diagnosis.
Microtubules are rigid hollow rods that influence the shape and movement of cells, and are essential for many functions. In most animal cells a structure called the centrosome is responsible for the formation and organisation of microtubules. Many cancer cells have a defective centrosome.
A centrosome protein called ninein is very important for organising microtubules. Abnormal distribution of ninein is likely to lead to a disorganised microtubule network. Preliminary data on colon cancer cells suggest that ninein is dispersed throughout the cell and that the microtubules are highly disorganised.
This project aims to determine whether ninein distribution is abnormal in colon cancer cells generally and whether this is linked to the presence of disorganised microtubules. It will also determine whether ninein could potentially prove to be valuable as a marker for diagnosing colon cancer.