We have found that melanoma growth and its spread around the body may be the result of switching between two distinct phases, growth and invasion. An inverse relationship between two transcription factors, MITF and BRN2, appears to be important for controlling this switch. This study will examine the interaction between the MITF and BRN2 expressing populations and how this impacts on tumour spread.
To determine the requirement for MITF and BRN2 expression in melanoma progression.
This study will produce fluorescently tagged cell lines controlled deletion of MITF or BRN2 or both to investigate growth and invasion of metastatic melanoma. Two- and three-dimensional cell culture assays will enable us to identify the functions of individual cell populations and how they interact. The project will use a combination of fixed and live-cell microscopy to monitor growth with newly developed assays. Experiments with mice will also be used to confirm in vitro data.
- Honours project only.