Anita is a 2nd year PhD candidate at Western Sydney University and is collaborating with researchers at Hawkesbury Insititute for the Environment. She completed her Bachelor of Science (Hons) in 2014, also at Western Sydney University.
Protein arginine methylation is a post-translational modification involved in many cellular processes, such as, regulation of signal transduction, facilitating protein-protein interactions, RNA transport and splicing. It is becoming increasingly evident that protein arginine methylation is also an important regulator of the cell cycle and DNA damage repair pathways. Important regulatory proteins, such as cyclin D1, p53, p21, and the retinoblastoma protein are methylated or associate with protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs), the enzymes responsible for arginine methylation. PRMTs are often overexpressed in cancers, leading to aberrant methylation patterns correlating with poor disease prognosis. Brain cancer is one of the most aggressive types of cancer- the 5 year survival rate for patients in Australia with brain cancer is only 20%. PRMT1 forms a complex, the methylosome, to initiate methylation of H4R3 to activate transcription of glioblastoma genes, such as EGFR, AKT3, and CDK6. PRMT5 overexpression correlates with increased cell proliferation and its knockdown resulted in cell cycle arrest leading to apoptosis. My study seeks to further investigate the role of protein arginine methylation in the cell cycle of glioblastoma cells, specifically through the interaction of mortalin with p53. Mortalin is normally found in neurons only; however it has also been found in glioblastoma tissues with expression levels correlating with tumor aggresivenss. Preliminary data has shown mortalin to be methylated on an arginine within the p53-binding domain, suggesting that methylation may play a role in the localisation of mortalin or its interaction with other proteins
Olga Kirsanova has a special interest in neurosciences and medical imaging of the brain. several papers were submitted under the neurological sciences
Chronic pain syndrome (CPS) is currently seen as an independent disease requiring etiopathogenetic treatment. Optimal way for cancer patients is opioid therapy. By reason of permanent presence of symptoms, the method of choice are implantable close sterile systems that do not require regular invasive procedures with minimal side «opioid» effects, that allow to stop strong pain, including "breakthrough pain." Thus the functional neurosurgery takes the increasing place in oncology. First experience in Russia applying programmable morphine infusion pumps for severe cancer pain belonged to P.Herzen Moscow Oncology Research Institute. The most significant indications for pump implantation were: the presence of heavy cancer pain (VAS>60), inefficiency of previous narcotic analgesics at doses equivalent to 30 mg morphine, life expectancy more than 3 months, and positive morphine test. Morphine pump installed 62 patients in 2013-2015. All patients diagnosed with CPS intensity of 60-100 % by VAS (average 91,6 ± 6,9), 28 patients had severe neyropatic pain. Side effects of opioid therapy were present in all patients. Implantation and pump programming was carried out according to the accepted method. All the patient the intensity of pain in all patients decreased to 0-20 % by VAS (p-value= 0,000301). Morphine dose vary from 180 to 9500 mg/day. All treated patients completely stopped taking opioids. We registered increase of motion activity in 51 cases, absence of sedation effects, improved somatic status. However, 26 patients with a long history of receiving opioid (over six months) from the second day developed specific withdrawal symptoms caused by the termination of systemic effects of opiates, requiring symptomatic therapy for 4-10 days. All patients reported more effective pain relief, lack of systemic side effects and increase quality of life after the selection of the Individual mode morphine pump. In patients with refractory cancer pain, intrathecal drug therapy with programmable morphine pumps is associated with improved pain reporting, reduced breakthrough pain and a significant improvement in the quality of life