Yeast Assay for p53 Molecular Analysis in Bladder Cancer

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Bladder cancer is the fifth most frequently diagnosed tumor in the United States, with more than 57,400 new cases and 12,500 deaths annually. Eighty-five percent of these deaths come from the 25% of patients who present with muscle-invasive disease. Reduction in morbidity and mortality will come from improving outcome in this group of patients. Having rapid access to molecular analysis data and knowing its relationship to clinical outcome could be invaluable to patient management and treatment. The long-term objectives of this R21/R33 application are to 1) standardize the protocol for an archival-based yeast functional assay (aYFA) that will lead to broad clinical utilization, and 2) determine what clinical relevance molecular analysis may provide when detecting and evaluating p53 functionality in bladder cancer. A yeast functional assay is an existing methodology that detects p53 mutations in human cancers. In this assay, both p53 expression plasmids and reporter plasmids are co-transfected into yeast. The expressed wild-type (wt) p53 is able to bind to a p53-response element, whereas mutant p53 lacks the ability to bind. This binding and lack of binding leads to color differences in transactivational activity. Use of this current version of the yeast assay has one serious drawback: it was designed for the study of mRNA from cell lines and fresh-frozen tissue. Unfortunately, in large clinical trials, fresh-frozen tissue is rarely available for comparing genetic markers to patient outcome. Therefore, an archival-based yeast functional assay could prove to be extremely suitable for rapid, accurate, and treatment-relevant molecular analysis in a wider bladder cancer population. The specific aim of the R21 phase of this grant is to optimize the technology and methodology for a broader utilization of the archival-based yeast functional assay in the clinical setting. The specific aim of the R33 phase of this grant is to determine the clinical relevance of different p53 mutations (alterations and functionality) in bladder cancer. It is expected that the archival-based yeast functional assay technology will impact the molecular analysis of bladder cancer by proving to be both rapid and clinically relevant. The archival-based yeast functional assay technology is innovative in that it would give clinicians, regardless of location, the ability to obtain molecular analysis information that could prove valuable to patient outcome prior to actual treatment initiation. Currently, with fresh-frozen tissue required to perform the standard yeast assay, timely accessibility of individual patient molecular data for the clinician is virtually impossible to obtain. This makes the standard yeast assay less than optimal for widespread use and subsequently hampers future research endeavors. This grant proposes to compare p53 molecular analysis data and its relationship to patient clinical outcomes in bladder cancer patients. Three groups of patients that have already been reported on will form the basis of the R33 pilot study. The archival-based yeast functional assay technology will be used in testing bladder cancer specimens (cystectomy and TURBT) and then comparing their p53 status to patient clinical outcomes. The results obtained during the period of this grant will form the basis for future studies that should affect treatment strategies for this disease.
Effective start/end date4/1/043/31/06


  • National Institutes of Health: $133,280.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $133,280.00


  • Medicine(all)


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