NSF-REU
RESEARCH EXPERIENCES FOR UNDERGRADUATES FROM RURAL AND TRIBAL COLLEGES 

InvestigatorBrent Voels, Ph.D.

Location:  Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Fort Totten, ND

Title:  Unique N- and C-Terminal Domains of Metallothionein-3 Influence Growth and Differentiation

Description:  Toxic insult from the heavy metal cadmium induces the expression of metallothioneins (MT) which are cysteine-rich heavy metal binding proteins six to seven kilo Daltons in size.  Previous research demonstrates that over-expression of Metallothionein-3 (MT-3) occurs in the majority of breast cancers and is associated with poor outcome.  Furthermore, MT-3 has been shown to inhibit the growth of breast cancer and prostate cancer cell lines.  The MT-3 protein contains seven additional amino acids that are not present in any other members of the MT gene family, a six amino acid C-terminal sequence and a Thr in the N-terminal region.  The unique N-terminal sequence appears to be responsible for the growth inhibitory activity of MT-3 in the neuronal system, while the function of C-terminal region remains unknown.  My lab is further characterizing the unique properties of the N- and C-terminal domain of MT-3 and the potential role that MT-3 may play in differentiation.  Specifically, this project is investigating the GAGE gene family antigens in MCF7 mutant cell lines containing either the N- or C-terminal of MT-3.  See also Garrett & Somji projects.