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Articles 1 - 13 of 13

Full-Text Articles in Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology

Characterization Of Notch1 And Pi3k-Pten-Akt/Mtor Pathway Interaction In Head And Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Kyriante' Henry Dec 2017

Characterization Of Notch1 And Pi3k-Pten-Akt/Mtor Pathway Interaction In Head And Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Kyriante' Henry

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) affects various mucosal sites of the upper aerodigestive tract, including the nasal and oral cavities, the nasopharynx, and the oropharynx. More than five hundred thousand new cases of HNSCC occurred in 2011 alone, with 50,000 reported cases in the United States. This trend made HNSCC the seventh most common non-skin cancer worldwide (Ferlay et al., 2015). Although significant epidemiological and pathological advancements have been made, survival rates have not improved much over the last 40 years, leaving a mortality rate that remains at approximately 50%. An unbiased drug screen demonstrated that HNSCC ...


Preclinical Development Of Therapeutic Strategies Against Triple-Negative And Inflammatory Breast Cancer, Angie M. Torres-Adorno Aug 2017

Preclinical Development Of Therapeutic Strategies Against Triple-Negative And Inflammatory Breast Cancer, Angie M. Torres-Adorno

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Triple-negative (TNBC) and inflammatory (IBC) breast cancer are the most aggressive forms of breast cancer, accounting for 20% and 10% of cancer-related deaths, respectively. Among IBC cases, 30% are additionally classified with TNBC molecular pathology, a diagnosis that significantly worsens patient’s prognosis. The current lack of TNBC and IBC molecular understanding prevents the development of effective therapeutic strategies. To identify effective treatments, we explored aberrant apoptosis pathways and cell membrane fluidity as novel therapeutic targets.

We first identified an effective therapeutic strategy against TNBC and IBC by pro-apoptotic protein NOXA-mediated inhibition of the anti-apoptotic protein MCL1 following inhibition of ...


Normal Glycolytic Enzyme Activity Is Critical For Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1a Activity And Provides Novel Targets For Inhibiting Tumor Growth, Geoffrey Grandjean Phd Dec 2015

Normal Glycolytic Enzyme Activity Is Critical For Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1a Activity And Provides Novel Targets For Inhibiting Tumor Growth, Geoffrey Grandjean Phd

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Normal Glycolytic Enzyme Activity is Critical for Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1α Activity and Provides Novel Targets for Inhibiting Tumor Growth

By Geoffrey Grandjean

Advisory Professor: Garth Powis, D. Phil

Unique to proliferating cancer cells is the observation that their increased need for energy is provided by a high rate of glycolysis followed by lactic acid fermentation in a process known as the Warburg Effect, a process many times less efficient than oxidative phosphorylation employed by normal cells to satisfy a similar energy demand [1]. This high rate of glycolysis occurs regardless of the concentration of oxygen in the cell and is ...


Novel Posttranslational Modification In Lkb1 Activation And Function, Szu-Wei Lee Dec 2014

Novel Posttranslational Modification In Lkb1 Activation And Function, Szu-Wei Lee

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Cancer cells display dramatic alterations in cellular metabolism to meet their needs of increased growth and proliferation. In the last decade, cancer research has brought these pathways into focus, and one emerging issue that has come to attention is that many oncogenes and tumor-suppressors are intimately linked to metabolic regulation (Jones and Thompson, 2009). One of the key tumor-suppressors involved in metabolism is Liver Kinase B1 (LKB1). LKB1 is the major upstream kinase of the evolutionarily conserved metabolic sensor—AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Activation of the LKB1/AMPK pathway provides a survival advantage for cells under energy stress. LKB1 forms ...


Pi3k- And Mtor-Dependent Mechanisms Of Lapatinib Resistance And Resulting Therapeutic Opportunities, Samuel Brady Aug 2014

Pi3k- And Mtor-Dependent Mechanisms Of Lapatinib Resistance And Resulting Therapeutic Opportunities, Samuel Brady

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Breast cancers with HER2 amplification represent 20-25% of breast cancer cases and are frequently responsive to the HER2 kinase inhibitor lapatinib, but generally for only short duration. We aimed to understand how breast cancers with HER2 amplification become resistant to lapatinib, in order to identify potential therapies that can overcome lapatinib resistance. To establish lapatinib resistance models we treated three HER2+ breast cancer cell lines with lapatinib for several months until they became lapatinib-resistant. We then compared lapatinib-sensitive (parental) cells with their lapatinib-resistant (LapR) counterparts to identify changes conferring lapatinib resistance. We found that activation of PI3K, specifically the p110α ...


Energy Stress Causes Chaperones To Assemble Into Cytoplasmic Complexes, Kimberly J. Cope Aug 2014

Energy Stress Causes Chaperones To Assemble Into Cytoplasmic Complexes, Kimberly J. Cope

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

The majority of proteins require molecular chaperones to assist their folding into tertiary and quaternary structures. Certain stresses can compromise the weak hydrophobic forces responsible for these structures and lead to protein unfolding, misfolding, and aggregation. Aggregates of proteins are hallmarks of devastating diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases. Fortunately, bacteria, plants, and fungi have a potent disaggregase, named Hsp104 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Recently, heat-induced aggregates, termed Q-bodies, were found to contain three molecular chaperones: Hsp70, Hsp104, and Hsp42. Their coalescence from small puncta into larger inclusions required Hsp104. During glucose deprivation, a stress that ...


Characterization Of Jak, Stat, And Src Interactions In Head And Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Reshma Jaseja, Reshma Jaseja Aug 2013

Characterization Of Jak, Stat, And Src Interactions In Head And Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Reshma Jaseja, Reshma Jaseja

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Recurrence of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) is common; thus, it is essential to improve the effectiveness and reduce toxicity of current treatments. Proteins in the Src/Jak/STAT pathway represent potential therapeutic targets, as this pathway is hyperactive in HNSCC and it has roles in cell migration, metastasis, proliferation, survival, and angiogenesis. During short-term Src inhibition, Janus kinase (Jak) 2, and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3 and STAT5 are dephosphorylated and inactivated. Following sustained Src inhibition, STAT5 remains inactive, but Jak2 and STAT3 are reactivated following their early inhibition. To further characterize the mechanism ...


Increased Geranylgeranylated K-Ras Contributes To Antineoplastic Effects Of Farnesyltransferase Inhibitors., Mandy A. Hall May 2012

Increased Geranylgeranylated K-Ras Contributes To Antineoplastic Effects Of Farnesyltransferase Inhibitors., Mandy A. Hall

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

The Ras family of small GTPases (N-, H-, and K-Ras) is a group of important signaling mediators. Ras is frequently activated in some cancers, while others maintain low level activity to achieve optimal cell growth. In cells with endogenously low levels of active Ras, increasing Ras signaling through the ERK and p38 MAPK pathways can cause growth arrest or cell death. Ras requires prenylation – the addition of a 15-carbon (farnesyl) or 20-carbon (geranylgeranyl) group – to keep the protein anchored into membranes for effective signaling. N- and K-Ras can be alternatively geranylgeranylated (GG’d) if farnesylation is inhibited but are preferentially ...


Chemosensitization Of Hepatocellular Carcinoma To Gemcitabine By Non-Invasive Radiofrequency Field-Induced Hyperthermia, Mustafa Raoof May 2012

Chemosensitization Of Hepatocellular Carcinoma To Gemcitabine By Non-Invasive Radiofrequency Field-Induced Hyperthermia, Mustafa Raoof

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Gemcitabine is a potent nucleoside analogue against solid tumors however drug resistance rapidly emerges. Removal of gemcitabine incorporated in the DNA by repair mechanisms could potentially contribute to resistance in chemo-refractory solid tumors. In this study, we evaluated homologous recombination repair of gemcitabine-stalled replication forks as a potential mechanism contributing to resistance. We also studied the effect of hyperthermia on homologous recombination pathway to explain the previously reported synergy between gemcitabine and hyperthermia. We found that hyperthermia degrades and inhibits localization of Mre11 to gemcitabine-stalled replication forks. Furthermore, gemcitabine-treated cells that were also treated with hyperthermia demonstrate a prolonged passage ...


Significance Of Increased Tissue Transglutaminase In Hormone Refractory Prostate Cancer, Amy L. Han Aug 2011

Significance Of Increased Tissue Transglutaminase In Hormone Refractory Prostate Cancer, Amy L. Han

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

The progression of hormone responsive to hormone refractory prostate cancer poses a major clinical challenge in the successful treatment of prostate cancer. The hormone refractory prostate cancer cells exhibit resistance not only to castrate levels of testosterone, but also to other therapeutic modalities and hence become lethal. Currently, there is no effective treatment available for managing this cancer. These observations underscore the urgency to investigate mechanism(s) that contribute to the progression of hormone-responsive to hormone-refractory prostate cancer and to target them for improved clinical outcomes.

Tissue transglutaminase (TG2) is a multifunctional pro-inflammatory protein involved in diverse physiological processes such ...


The Role Of The Androgen Receptor Cofactor P44/Wdr77 In Astrocyte Activation, Bryce H. Vincent Aug 2011

The Role Of The Androgen Receptor Cofactor P44/Wdr77 In Astrocyte Activation, Bryce H. Vincent

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Astrogliosis is induced by neuronal damage and is also a pathological feature of the major aging-related neurodegenerative disorders. The mechanisms that control the cascade of astrogliosis have not been well established. In a previous study, we identified a novel androgen receptor (AR)-interacting protein (p44/WDR77) and found that it plays a critical role in the control of proliferation and differentiation of prostate epithelial cells. In the present study, we found that deletion of the p44 gene in the mouse brain caused accelerated aging with dramatic astrogliosis. The p44/WDR77 is expressed in astrocytes and loss of p44/WDR77 expression ...


Elucidating Functional Roles For Myogenin In Adult Skeletal Muscle Metabolism, Exercise Capacity, And Regeneration, Jesse Flynn Dec 2010

Elucidating Functional Roles For Myogenin In Adult Skeletal Muscle Metabolism, Exercise Capacity, And Regeneration, Jesse Flynn

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

The four basic helix-loop-helix myogenic transcription factors, myogenin, Myf5, MRF4, and MyoD are critical for embryonic skeletal muscle development. Myogenin is necessary for the terminal differentiation of myoblasts into myofibers during embryogenesis, but little is known about the roles played by myogenin in adult skeletal muscle function and metabolism. Furthermore, while metabolism is a well-studied physiological process, how it is regulated at the transcriptional level remains poorly understood. In this study, my aim was to determine the function of myogenin in adult skeletal muscle metabolism, exercise capacity, and regeneration. To investigate this, I utilized a mouse strain harboring the Myogflox ...


Dynamic Remodeling Of The Stressed Heart: Role Of Protein Degradation Pathways, Deborah Vela Dec 2010

Dynamic Remodeling Of The Stressed Heart: Role Of Protein Degradation Pathways, Deborah Vela

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

The heart is a remarkable organ. In order to maintain its function, it remodels in response to a variety of environmental stresses, including pressure overload, volume overload, mechanical or pharmacological unloading and hormonal or metabolic disturbances. All these responses are linked to the inherent capacity of the heart to rebuild itself. Particularly, cardiac pressure overload activates signaling pathways of both protein synthesis and degradation. While much is known about regulators of protein synthesis, little is known about regulators of protein degradation in hypertrophy. The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) selectively degrades unused and abnormal intracellular proteins. I speculated that the UPS may ...