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Examining how the tumour suppressor, caspase-2, prevents chromosomal instability

Examining how the tumour suppressor, caspase-2, prevents chromosomal instability

Project Description: Apoptosis is a highly conserved process of cell death essential for development and cell homeostasis. It is particularly important for deleting aberrant cells that have damaged or abnormal chromosomes (aneuploidy) caused by failures in chromosome segregation and/or cell separation (cytokinesis) during mitosis. Evasion of apoptosis is a key mechanism behind the survival of aneuploid cells and chromosome instability (CIN); all hallmarks of cancer and established markers of drug resistance and prognosis. This is often associated with defects in the activation of apoptotic pathway components. In particular, we have shown that the conserved caspase and tumour suppressor protein, caspase-2, plays an important role in preventing aneuploidy. This project will further examine caspase-2 activation and role in preventing aneuploid cell survival. As part of this we have identified several interacting proteins that will now be further characterised for their role in regulating caspase-2 and CIN, using biochemical, molecular and cell-based approaches.


Pre-requisite skills: Basic laboratory skills are a must. An understanding of biochemistry, cell and molecular biology is important with skills in basic microscopy, bacterial work, cell culture and protein biology.


Supervisors: Dr Loretta Dorstyn and Professor Sharad Kumar


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