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Unravelling the role of phytosterols in cancer

Summary of Project:

Humans take significant quantities of plant sterols (phytosterols) as part of the diet. Recent evidence, both in vitro and in vivo suggests that this intake adversely affects growth and dissemination of cancer. However, the mechanisms by which phytosterols exert their anti-cancer effects remains unknown. The objective of this proposal is to profile the changes that occur in the cancer cell from interaction with these molecules, and hence identify mechanism(s) by which these molecules exert a biological effect.

Using chemical probes that are structural analogues of phytosterols with different lateral side chains, we’ll establish the contribution of both C-24 substituent, and the delta-22 alkene group to the potency of the molecules. We will also chemical probes to study the distribution of fluorescently labelled phytosterol molecules in the cell. Using microarray techniques, we will identify gene expressions which are elevated upon treatment of cancer cells by phytosterols. Finally, using proteomics we will identify proteins that are upregulated upon treatment of cancer cells by phytosterols and thus cellular pathways which are affected by them.

Entry requirements:

At least 2.i Honours degree or equivalent.

Supervisors:

Title and name:
Dr Kamyar Afarinkia
Position:
Senior Lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry
Email address:
Telephone number :
Work+44 (0) 1274 235831
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Title and name:
Professor Roger Phillips
Position:
Professor of Cancer Pharmacology (University of Huddersfield)
Email address:
Telephone number :
Work+44 (0) 1484 471675
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