Signal Transduction: How cells communicate

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

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  • Description
  • Features

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

Techniques in lab
Western blotting, Inhibitor treatment, Histology, Cell culture
Learning objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to...

  • 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
Simulation features

Length: 32
Accessibility mode: Not available
Languages: English (United States)

NGSS

Out of Scope

IB

6.6: Hormones, Homeostasis and Reproduction

AP

Unit 4: Cell Communication and Cell Cycle