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Signal Transduction: How cells communicate | Virtual Lab

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High School
Higher Education
 
Signal Transduction: How cells communicate
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About This Simulation

Investigate the connection between blood vessel growth and cancer development, and use this knowledge to identify a promising treatment for breast cancer.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the principles and importance of intracellular signal transduction
  • Explain receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) cell signaling
  • Analyze dysregulated signal transduction in human cancer cells
  • Understand the connection between angiogenesis and tumor growth
  • Investigate the involvement of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) signaling in human breast cancer

About This Simulation

Level:
High School
Higher Education
Length:
32
Min
Accessibility Mode:
Available
Languages:
English
French
Italian
Spanish
German

Lab Techniques

  • Western blotting
  • Inhibitor treatment
  • Histology
  • Cell culture
No lab techniques are listed for this simulation.

Related Standards

University:
NGSS:
  • Out of Scope
AP:
  • Unit 4: Cell Communication and Cell Cycle
LB:
  • 6.6: Hormones, Homeostasis and Reproduction
No lab techniques are listed for this simulation.

Learn More About This Simulation

In this simulation, you will learn how tumor cells send signals to surrounding cells to help promote tumor growth, and how this signal is transmitted inside the cell.

Analyze patient samples by western blotting

As a researcher in the R&D department of a big pharma company, your mission will be to test the hypothesis that increased blood vessel growth, also called angiogenesis, plays a role in breast cancer development. To investigate this idea, you will perform a western blot experiment to test for the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) expression in patient samples compared to healthy tissue samples.

Learn about VEGFR signal transduction

Following the interpretation of initial results, you will learn more about how VEGFR, a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) transmits an external signal to the inside of the cell, and how this influences angiogenesis. You will be able to follow the process in a 3D animation.

Develop a strategy for breast cancer therapy

Finally, your mission is to test different inhibitors targeting VEGFR signaling. You will design an experimental approach to test for the activity of this specific class of RTKs.

Will you be able to identify a promising new drug candidate for treating patients with breast cancer?

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