Division 3: HT Screens
Head: Prof. Jan Mollenhauer
NanoCAN's DIVISION 3 represents the the central platform of the center for the construction of advanced cell models (Unit 4) and the identification of new potential drug targets and nucleic acid-based drugs that may exert selective activity in cancer stem cells without harming normal stem cells (Unit 5). The cell models are fed into most other units of the NanoCAN center as test and/or discovery systems. Systematic discovery approaches range from medium to large scale screens and cover various areas as, for example, identification of new tumor suppressors, oncogenes, metastasis and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) modulators, as well as genes/miRNAs involved in the maintenance or suppression of the cancer stem cell phenotype.
Unit 4: Cellular Models
NanoCAN's UNIT 4 uses a newly developed technique for the easy construction of isogenic cancer cell lines via a site-specific recombination technique. Isogenic means that the resulting panels of cells are genetically identical except for the gene or miRNA under investigation or except for the inserted reporter or silencing construct. Besides acting as the center's core facility for the construction of stable cell lines, UNIT 4 comprises the following major subprojects to develop new tools and methodology, which incorporates staff members, working interdisciplinary also in the other units of the center:
Unit 5: HT-Screens
NanoCAN's UNIT 5 bundles the efforts for discovering new drug targets and starting points for nucleic acid-based drugs. This mostly comprises systematic, hypothesis-generating high-throughput screens via a robotic platform. Medium-scale targeted functional genomics screens using complementary strategies and potentially providing some shortcuts are also performed, however. The subprojects within UNIT 5 are conducted by academic staff, of which one part also works interdisciplinary in the other units and the other part focuses on setting up the robotic screens to be available as core facility to the center. UNIT5 includes as subprojects: