The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke

Basic and Clinical Research Program | Summary of Research Activities

Identification of Medulloblastoma Cell Membrane Proteins that Could Serve as Targets for Drug Development

Medulloblastomas are highly malignant tumors which constitute 25% of all pediatric brain tumors. Drugs to treat medulloblastomas effectively are not available. One approach to developing medulloblastoma drugs is to identify plasma membrane proteins unique to these tumors and then develop antibodies to target these proteins. To identify cell membrane proteins that are unique to medulloblastomas, Drs. Madan M. Kwatra, Carol Wikstsrand, and Darell D. Bigner propose to use a proteomics approach based on SELDI/TOF (proteinChip) and 2D-gel electrophoresis/mass spectrometry.

Cell membranes will be prepared from various medulloblastoma cell lines (D341 Med, D425 Med, D283 Med), glioma cell lines (U87, D245, D54), and human cerebellum. The researchers will then determine which of the several detergents (CHAPS, dodecyl-beta maltoside, digitonin, Triton X-100) provides solubilization of maximum protein yields. The solubilized proteins will be size fractionated by gel filtration and different fractions will be subjected to SELDI/TOF and 2D-gel electrophoresis. They will analyze the protein profile of cell membranes from medulloblastomas, gliomas, and normal cerebellum in order to spot proteins unique to medulloblastoma cell membranes. These unique proteins will be identified by mass spectrometry.

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