Unraveling disparate roles of Notch-1 and Notch-2 signaling in bladder cancer

Principal Investigator: 
University of British Columbia
Faculty of Medicine
Department of Urologic Sciences
Health Profession: 

Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer, yet it remains understudied and we are only now making strides in understanding it's molecular make-up. Recently we and others have discovered that loss of the cell surface receptor Notch-1 drives growth of some bladder cancers, while increased Notch-2 activity drives growth of other bladder cancers. Here we aim to determine how Notch-1 and Notch-2 can lead to such differing effects on cancer growth even though they share many features. From this we aim to design a new drug to inhibit Notch-2. 

We will: 

  • Create a mouse model that over-expresses Notch-2 in the bladder. We expect this will cause bladder tumours to form.
  • Use advanced techniques to study the differences between Notch-1 and Notch- 2 signaling that make them have such different effects. We will especially investigate how each Notch protein controls the reading of genes in the cell nucleus. 
  • Develop a new a new drug to inhibit Notch-2 using computer-aided drug design.
Research Pillar: 
Host Institution: 
University of British Columbia
Research Location: 
Vancouver Prostate Centre