The “Polo Territoriale Universitario della Provincia di Trapani” is the partner n. 3 of ImaGenX project.
The project’s activities are synergistically performed by the Administrative personnel of Trapani and the Scientific Staff of the Section of Biochemistry of the Department of Biological, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies, Polyclinic – University of Palermo. This Scientific Staff, coordinated by Prof. Renza Vento, has developed a deep know-how in experimental oncobiology field. In particular it focuses on the evaluation of the effects exerted by natural and synthetic drugs in models of human tumours in vitro and in vivo and on the death pathways by them activated.
Taking part in ImaGenX project, STEBICEF’s expertises wish to contribute to develop the surveillance pathway of breast cancer in Trapani, to safeguard the health of the people and in support of health facilities involved. In particular, the results obtained by the Scientific Staff in breast cancer in vivo models (athymic mice) represent a good background to apply to the aims of ImaGenX project.
The knowledge of cancer stem cells has fundamental implications in cancer biology and in the evaluation of the risk associated to cancer development, early diagnosis, prognosis, prevention and therapy.
In this context, the expertise acquired by the Research Staff on the stem cells biology, turns to be strategic and undeniable. Recently the Staff has produced and patented (FI2008A000238) a new human cancer stem cell line (3AB-OS), that has been irreversibly selected from human osteosarcoma MG63 cell line (Di Fiore et al., 2009). 3-AB-OS cells have been genetically and molecularly characterized and their invasive differentiative and tumorigenic potential and in vitro and in vivo pluripontency have been evaluated. Currently, we are evaluating their epigenomics;
their practical applications within the project are of high expectations as well.
The Section of Biochemistry has 7 laboratories of biochemistry and molecular biology and 3 fully equipped cell culture rooms to support ImaGenX project. Laboratories are supplied with fluorescent photomicroscopy equipped with digital camera and image analysis system; flow cytometer EPICS XL with EXPO32 software; PC-controlled UV/Vis spectrophotometers; PCR Thermal Cycler (Applied Biosystem); imaging system for dedicated chemiluminescent and bioluminescent image acquisition and analysis (Chemidoc, BioRad); HPLC apparatus; centrifuges with set of rotors; Dubnhoff incubators; sonicators; 15 normally equipped computers for routinely use.
There is also a room fully equipped for experiments using radioactivity and a laboratory equipped with Real time PCR thermal cyclers (IQ5 thermacycler, BioRad), proteomic analysis systems (2D gel electrophoresis system and Protean IEF Cell, BioRad), power supplies and microplate readers.
A room for -20° C and -80° C freezers equipped with control temperature security systems is also present.
We are waiting to acquire, with the financial support of the project, new instruments which will be dedicated to the development of the project and will allow to accomplish the proposed aims.