Using pGLO to detect Melanomas

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Using pGLO to detect Melanomas

Postby swong » Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:10 pm

Hi, I am proposing a theoretical question for my genetics final. I was wondering if it was possible to use pGLO to detect Melanomas. Here is my rough draft of an outlined procedure.

1. Inject nonharmful bacteria with plasmids containing pGLO and arabinose into skin cells
2. Arabinose is produced in the presence/high concentration of plasmid biomarkers linked with Melanoma (CEACAM, ICAM-1, osteopontin, MIA, GDF-15, TIMP-1 and S100B)
3. Arabinose would activate pGLO gene
4. Cancerous moles would glow under blacklight due to pGLO

Because there has not been research on this, I don't know the pathway between the presence of biomarkers and activating the production of arabinose. For this part of my project I am bring pretty vague and talking about the ways pGLO can be activated. Is there a better way to go about explaining this possible pathway?
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Occupation: student: 12th grade
Project Question: Is it possible to use pGLO to detect melanoma by using biomarkers (such as osteopontin, MIA, GDF-15, or TIMP-1) related to melanoma to activate injected arabinose and pGLO so cancerous moles glow under black light?
Project Due Date: January 12, 2013
Project Status: I am conducting my research

Re: Using pGLO to detect Melanomas

Postby donnahardy2 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:06 pm

Hi Swong,

Welcome to Science Buddies. I do apologize for the delay in responding to your question. Here are some comments that I hope will be helpful.

It sounds like you have learned a lot about pglo and have thought of a very creative application for this gene. Your experiment would be very interesting to try and steps 1,2, and 3 would be feasible, however I don't think that the pGlo would be visible inside the cells. Green fluorescent protein is visible under UV light when it is in solution, but human cells are opaque so if it was present, you would not be able to detect it.

Melanoma and other cancer cells are usually detected with radioactive tracers that have a short life and can be detected with x-rays that can penetrate the body. For example, here is a brief description of this type of testing:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency ... 003827.htm

I hope this helps.

Donna Hardy
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