Pascale Nelson, '14
Pascale Nelson was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Pascale has lived in Orlando, FL for seven years. Pascale is currently pursuing a degree in Biotechnology with a minor in Psychology. She is currently involved in research at UCF Biomedical College with a focus in ALS disease under the supervision of Dr. Alvaro G. Estevez. After graduation, Pascale aspires to earn a doctoral degree in Biotechnology.
Construction of a Fork Head Responsive Element Reporter to monitor Signaling Pathways in Motor Neurons Conducted at the University of Central Florida as part of the Research and Mentoring Program Mentor: Dr. Alvaro G. Estevez Abstract: Geldanamycin is an inhibitor of the protein chaperone heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90). Hsp90 inhibitors are in clinical trials for cancer. In addition, geldanamycin protects against excitotoxicity in primary cortical cultures. We found that primary motor neuron cultures are 10-104 times more sensitive to inhibition of Hsp90 by geldanamycin than cultured cortical neurons at low and high-density, dissociated spinal cord cultures, and the differentiated and undifferentiated hybrid motor neuron cell line NSC34. In primary motor neurons, geldanamycin inhibition of Hsp90 activates Fas-dependent apoptosis. Upstream of Fas activation, incubation of motor neurons with geldanamycin induces Fas ligand expression. Expression of FasL is dependent on the translocation of nuclear factor Forkhead box O3a (FOXO3a) to the nucleus and binding to Fork Head Responsive Element (FHRE). Currently we have preliminary results showing that FOXO3a translocated to the nuclei. The luciferase reporter vector containing the FHRE will be use to demonstrate activation of the promoter by geldanamycin. We will also use a dominant negative FOXO3a to reverse the effects of geldanamycin. These results will provide incontrovertible evidence for the role of FOXO3a in the induction motor neuron apoptosis by geldanamycin.
Nelson, Pascale, "Pascale Nelson, '14" (2017). McNair Scholars. 83.