Is yaupon holly extract an effective and safe way to induce cancer cell death?

Stetson University
DeLand, Florida
Biology
DOI: 10.18258/11776
$4,626
Pledged
142%
Funded
$3,250
Goal
47
Hours Left
  • $4,626
    pledged
  • 142%
    funded
  • 47
    hours left

About This Project

Last year our lab discovered that human leukemia cells treated with yaupon holly leaf extract caused cancer cell death. We tested both old and new yaupon holly leaf extract. This project is a follow-up to examine old and new yaupon holly leaf extract cell death mechanisms and normal cell toxicity. We hypothesize that normal cells are resistant to yaupon holly induced cell death and treated cancer cells undergo oxidative stress that leads to cancer cell death.

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What is the context of this research?

As cancer continues to be a disease of high incidence, the need for new cancer therapies is urgent. Natural plants and plant-based substances have been reported to have anticancer properties and cause cell death in various types of cancer. In 2017, my Stetson University undergraduate research students investigated the ability of yaupon holly to cause human leukemia cell death. Yaupon holly is a shrub native to the southeastern portion of the U.S. Yaupon holly new and old leaf extracts were found to cause cell death in leukemia cells. The next steps of this project are to 1) study whether normal cells are sensitive to yaupon holly extract and 2) study how treated cancer cells die.

What is the significance of this project?

Anticancer properties of yaupon holly are largely unexplored. This research will characterize intracellular cell death mechanisms in leukemia cells treated with yaupon holly extract. We will also examine human normal cell metabolism and cell death after yaupon holly extract treatment to determine whether yaupon holly extract specifically targets cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. Additionally, we will investigate molecular differences between new and old yaupon holly leaf extracts. We hypothesize that yaupon holly new leaf extract causes more oxidative stress in treated leukemia cells compared to old leaf extract, thus highlighting anticancer differences between new and old yaupon holly leaf extracts.

What are the goals of the project?

We hypothesize that yaupon holly new and old leaf extracts will causes oxidative stress in treated leukemia cells. Prolonged oxidative stress can initiate regulated cell death, emphasizing the need to study oxidative stress in cancer cells treated with yaupon holly extract.

0.5 million cells will be seeded in 6-well tissue culture plates. Yaupon holly extract (0.5-4uL) will be added to the cells for 24-72 hours. After treatment, cells will be collected and measured for oxidative stress using Promega ROS-Glo and Millipore Oxidative Stress kits. Cells will be acquired on a Biotek bioluminescent plate reader or Millipore Muse Cell Analyzer.

Secondary metabolite profiling in yaupon holly extracts will be analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography.



Budget

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Budget items will be used to grow and maintain leukemia cells and normal fibroblasts. Additionally, we will purchase bioluminescent and flow cytometry kits for students to examine induction of oxidative stress in leukemia cells treated with yaupon holly new and old leaf extracts. Students will acquire their data on a flow cytometer and bioluminescent plate reader presently housed at Stetson University.

Endorsed by

Dr. Crowder is a wonderful mentor. She inspires students to become scientists by using actual research projects with real world implications. Her enthusiasm for research and teaching is apparent to anyone who talks with her. Furthermore, cell death in cancer and normal cells is Dr. Crowder's area of expertise. This project is a great opportunity for Dr. Crowder's students to experience how scientists identify and characterize novel chemotherapeutic agents. I highly endorse this project.
I am excited to see the results of this follow up study. Dr. Crowder is an excellent research mentor. Her students frequently wins awards for their research.

Flag iconProject Timeline

September 2018 -Examine normal cell toxicity

October 2018 -Define intracellular cell death mechanism (new leaf extract)

November 2018-Define intracellular cell death mechanism (old leaf extract)

Sep 05, 2018

Project Launched

Sep 28, 2018

Test normal cell susceptibility to yaupon holly extracts

Oct 26, 2018

Test oxidative stress in cancer cells treated with new leaf extract

Nov 23, 2018

Test oxidative stress in cancer cells treated with old leaf extract

Mar 22, 2019

Research poster shared with donors 

Meet the Team

Roslyn Crowder
Roslyn Crowder
Assistant Professor of Biology

Affiliates

Stetson University
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Michael Morello
Michael Morello
Senior Research Student

Affiliates

Stetson University
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Munashe Y Holloman
Munashe Y Holloman
Senior Research Student

Affiliates

Stetson University
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Rachel Regester-Goumas
Rachel Regester-Goumas
Senior Research Student

Affiliates

Stetson University
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Makenzie Fourman
Makenzie Fourman
Senior Research Student

Affiliates

Stetson University
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Rachel Wexler
Rachel Wexler
Senior Research Student

Affiliates

Stetson University
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Anthony Bonilla
Anthony Bonilla
Senior Research Student

Affiliates

Stetson University
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Roslyn Crowder

I received my Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. My research training includes postdoctoral research positions at the University of Pennsylvania and Penn State Cancer Institute. I am currently a 2018 Keystone Symposia Fellow, Biology Division Councilor for Council on Undergraduate Research and Ambassador for American Society for Cell Biology.

I am a molecular cancer biologist with interest in cell death signaling pathways. I study differences between human normal cells and cancer cells, in the hope of exploiting these intracellular differences to strategically cause cell death in cancer cells but not normal cells.

I have 13 years experience teaching undergraduates. I am a dedicated mentor and educator. I strive to provide my undergraduate students with an authentic research experience that will aid in their acceptance into competitive graduate programs or health-related jobs.

To date, I have mentored twenty undergraduate research students in my laboratory at Stetson University. My former research students are currently in graduate schools at Florida State University and University of Notre Dame, medical schools at Florida International University and Mercer University; and dental schools at University of Florida and University of Buffalo.

Michael Morello

Hometown: Ormond Beach, Florida

Classification: Senior

Career plans after graduation: Pursue a higher education degree in medicine

Munashe Y Holloman

Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Classification: Senior

Career plans after graduation: Join Peace Corps as a health volunteer

Rachel Regester-Goumas

Hometown: Lake Worth, Florida

Classification: Senior

Career plans after graduation: Attend medical school

Makenzie Fourman

Hometown: Englewood, Florida

Classification: Senior

Career plans after graduation: Attend cancer biology Ph.D. graduate program

Rachel Wexler

Hometown: Tampa, Florida

Classification: Senior

Career plans after graduation: Attend graduate or professional school

Anthony Bonilla

Hometown: Orlando, Florida

Classification: Senior

Career plans after graduation: Pursue career in orthopedics or neurology

Lab Notes

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