Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name



Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

First Advisor

Robert A. Akins

Second Advisor

David Evans


A thesis is presented on the characterization of the contribution of the chemokine axis, CX_3CR1/Fractalkine, to the progression of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, and Lung cancer is one of the four leading causes of the disease. Carcinoma cells, unlike their normal counterparts, gain the ability to express chemokine receptors. Understanding if/how this gain of expression contributes to the progression of cancer could provide a lucrative therapeutic target. Goals of the study include investing if the NSCLC cell line A549, an adenocarcinoma cell line, express the chemokine receptor CX_3CR1, and if so what functionality the gain of expression confers on the cells. Expression of the receptor was determined by western blot, investigation of growth potential was established by performing a proliferation assay and migration potential was investigated via a scratch wound assay. CX_3CR1 is normally expressed in hematopoietic cells. Carcinoma cell expression is not shared by the normal counterparts. This provides a lucrative target specific to carcinoma cells and not toxic to normal cells.