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Oral cancer is a common cancer worldwide. One of the major problems of oral cancer is that early malignancy could only be detected by clinical oral examination from health care professionals, and there are no clinical tests at the molecular level. Recently, there are several Proteins and mRNAs reported as promising potential non-invasive biomarkers in saliva for oral cancer. Our team wants to establish simple, objective and quantifiable non-invasive detection system for those biomarkers.
Our system includes two aims :
1) engineered yeasts that express a reporter activated by IL-8, which is one of the most statistically significant protein biomarkers in oral cancer saliva samples.
2) Synthetic toehold switch gene regulators as RNA sensors to detect specific mRNA biomarkers. These efforts will provide the groundwork for new molecular diagnoses in oral cancer.