Applied Statistics and Operations Research Faculty Publications

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The tumor promoter, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), enhances tumor yield through an epigenetic mechanism. PMA, like another promoter, phosphatase inhibitor okadaic acid, works by maintaining proteins in a phosphorylated state. In order to identify chemicals with promoter and antipromoter effects, this laboratory has developed a standard curve of morphogenetic changes using data from precancerous cell lines that eventually became neoplastic. Using the curve as a basis of comparison, we defined the “signature” phenotype as that adopted when a cell line became neoplastic. The results of solving for signature type disclosed that the microtubule-depolymerizing compound, colchicine, had a promoter-like effect [2]. The opposite effect was found if cells were exposed to paclitaxel (Taxol®) and colchicine [3]. Such findings gave clinicians a rationale to test microtubule inhibitor combinations [4]. Therapy is only effective when agents are administered nearly simultaneously. In the current work, we study the effect of inhibitor combinations on cell features defined by computer-assisted microscopy and classification methods based on latent factors.

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Microscopy and Microanalysis