Saathvika Vegasina

Investigating the MS4A1 and MFN2 genes' correlation with mTORC2 in Melanoma

Saathvika Vegasina, Paradise Valley High School High School, High School Student

Metastasis is the spread of cancer in the host's body. Cell migration is a major part of cancer metastasis. In mammals, the mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 2 (mTOCR2) is a protein kinase complex known for regulating cell migration. By using the cBioportal database, we looked for genes in melanoma tumor tissue samples that have shown to have a correlation with the S473 phosphorylation of AKT, which suggests mTORC2 activity. I decided to investigate the correlation between MS4A1 and MFN2 with mTORC2 in melanoma. MS4A1 is a gene which encodes for the protein CD20 which has shown an alteration in cell migration when present in immune cells. The Chi-square test resulted with a significant p-value which shows that MS4A1 has a negative correlation with the regulation of mTORC2 in melanoma. The correlation with MS4A1 suggests that melanoma cancer cells may be co-opting pathways which are present in immune cells. MFN2 has shown to have a correlation with mTORC2 in breast cancer and lung cancer; however, based on the Chi-squared test results, MFN2 has shown to have no correlation with mTORC2 in melanoma. With the conclusions gained from our project, we can further investigate the relationship between MS4A1 and MFN2 genes in a laboratory setting in order to develop therapeutic strategies to prevent the spread of cancer.

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