Analyzing the Relationship between IL-22 and Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells

in regards to breast cancer


Cancer is one of modern society's most prolific killers. There is no completely effective cure; surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy all have their faults. Fortunately, there is a lot of promise in the idea of immunotherapy as a cancer treatment. One of the reasons cancer is so hard to treat is because the cancer cells are self cells and will use the cell’s natural machinery in order to survive and thrive. Cancer’s most dangerous ability is its ability to manipulate the human immune system, specifically myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), into protecting the tumor. Interleukin 22 (IL-22), a pro-inflammatory cytokine may play a part in how cancer cells manipulate MDSCs into protecting the tumor and fighting against treatments like immunotherapy that could cure the disease. Throughout this project, we utilized techniques such as flow cytometry, cell cultures, cell sorters, and confocal microscopes. Then we used CRISPR/CAS9 to knock out the IL-22 gene and examined the results, specifically the concentration of MDSCs. The goal of this project was to knock out the IL-22 gene in 4T1 cancer cells. The project did not progress enough to determine if IL-22 did, in fact, play a part in how cancer cells communicate with MDSCs. We were able to determine the most effective plasmid and transfection method and reagent, which would facilitate future studies. Unfortunately, that is where research stalled; the IL-22 knockout was not sufficient enough to proceed with the research since the 4T1 cells did not grow enough. The research will be continued and future directions have been described in order to fully determine the effects of IL-22.

My Research

Unlocking cancer's mysteries


MDSCs, cancer, immunotherapy, and IL-22

Cancer is one of modern society's most prolific killers. Treatments develop slowly, and their efficiency varies from person to person. A promising new treatment is immunotherapy. However, cancer is made of self cells, which take advantage of the body's own machinery. That machinery includes MDSCs, which work to suppress the immune system.

Scientist in the Lab

Methods and Materials

This research project used a variety of tools and techniques, including cell sorting, CRISPR, flow cytometry, and confocal microscopes.


Results and Data

All the data, pictures, graphs, and other results compiled in this project.


Future Procedure and Potential Applications

While the results of this research have not yet been ascertained, there are some potential applications, and a lot of future procedure.