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A Novel Autophagy Regulatory Mechanism That Functions During Programmed Cell Death: A Dissertation, Tsun-Kai Chang Sep 2013

A Novel Autophagy Regulatory Mechanism That Functions During Programmed Cell Death: A Dissertation, Tsun-Kai Chang

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Autophagy is a cellular process that delivers cytoplasmic materials for degradation by the lysosomes. Autophagy-related (Atg) genes were identified in yeast genetic screens for vehicle formation under stress conditions, and Atg genes are conserved from yeast to human. When cells or animals are under stress, autophagy is induced and Atg8 (LC3 in mammal) is activated by E1 activating enzyme Atg7. Atg8-containing membranes form and surround cargos, close and mature to become the autophagosomes. Autophagosomes fuse with lysosomes, and cargos are degraded by lysosomal enzymes to sustain cell viability. Therefore, autophagy is most frequently considered to function in cell survival. Whether ...


Role Of Autophagy In Post-Mitotic Midbody Fate And Function: A Dissertation, Tse-Chun Kuo Mar 2013

Role Of Autophagy In Post-Mitotic Midbody Fate And Function: A Dissertation, Tse-Chun Kuo

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

The midbody (MB) is a proteinaceous complex formed between the two daughter cells during cell division and is required for the final cell separation event in late cytokinesis. After cell division, the post-mitotic midbody, or midbody derivative (MBd), can be retained and accumulated in a subpopulation of cancer cells and stem cells, but not in normal diploid differentiated cells. However, the mechanisms by which MBds accumulate and function are unclear. Based on this, I hypothesize that the MBd is degraded by autophagy after cell division in normal diploid differentiated cells, whereas non-differentiated cells have low autophagic ...


The Interplay Between Lewy Body-Like Alpha-Synuclein Aggregates Nd Protein Degradation Pathways In Cell-Based Model Of Parkinson's Disease, Selcuk Aski Tanik Jan 2013

The Interplay Between Lewy Body-Like Alpha-Synuclein Aggregates Nd Protein Degradation Pathways In Cell-Based Model Of Parkinson's Disease, Selcuk Aski Tanik

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Cytoplasmic alpha-synuclein (a-syn) aggregates, including Lewy bodies (LBs), are pathological hallmarks of a number of neurodegenerative diseases, most notably Parkinson's disease (PD). Activation of intracellular protein degradation pathways (Pdps) to eliminate these aggregates has been proposed as a therapeutic approach for PD and other synucleinopathies, but the interplay between LB-like a-syn aggregates and Pdps is not completely understood. Here, we investigate this interplay by utilizing a recently developed cellular model in which intracellular LB-like a-syn inclusions accumulate after delivery of pre-formed a-syn fibrils (Pffs) into a-syn-expressing HEK293 cells or cultured primary neurons. This thesis describes the interplay between LB-like ...


Drug Resistance Mechanisms To Gamma-Secretase Inhibitors In Human Colon Cancer Cells, Cindy R. Timme Jan 2013

Drug Resistance Mechanisms To Gamma-Secretase Inhibitors In Human Colon Cancer Cells, Cindy R. Timme

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related mortality. Much progress has been achieved in combating this disease with surgical resection and chemotherapy in combination with targeted drugs. However, most metastatic patients develop drug resistance so new modalities of treatment are needed.

Notch signaling plays a vital role in intestinal homeostasis, self-renewal, and cell fate decisions during post-development and is activated in colorectal adenocarcinomas. Under debate is its role in carcinomas and metastatic disease. In theory, blocking Notch activation using gamma-secretase inhibitors (GSIs) may show efficacy alone or in combination with chemotherapy in the treatment of colon cancer.

In ...