Access Type

Open Access Embargo

Date of Award

January 2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.

Department

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

First Advisor

David R. Evans

Abstract

ABSTRACT

THE ROLE OF FAM129B IN CANCER METASTASIS

by

LAUREN MARIE IACOBELLI

May 2019

Advisor: Dr. David Evans

Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Degree: Master of Science

Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a natural, biological process within the human body. Under normal circumstances, it a complete transition from epithelial cells to mesenchymal cells, i.e. embryonic development and tissue fibrosis. However, under malignant metabolic processes, EMT is an incomplete transition. These cells maintain a hybridization state that sanctions malignant cells more aggressive than others, ultimately leading to metastasis. EMT’s involvement in the metastatic spread of tumorigenic cells is one of the hallmarks of cancer. In this study, we analyzed the role of FAM129B/MINERVA in epithelial to mesenchymal transition. This novel protein, has been implicated in apoptosis and metastasis of melanoma cells, another hallmark of cancer. We first confirmed that this protein co-localizes to plasma membrane upon contact with other cells through adherens junctions. Through knockdown of this protein, followed by TGF-1 induced EMT, we preliminarily concluded that FAM129B does not play a direct role in the induction of epithelial to mesenchymal transition.

Available for download on Friday, July 10, 2020

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