Date of Award

5-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Biology

Program

Biology

First Advisor/Chairperson

Dr. Robert Winn

Second Advisor

Dr. John Lawrence

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Belton

Abstract

To date, as many as 14,000 patients in the United States per year are diagnosed with glioblastoma, the most common and most malignant primary brain tumor. Glioblastomas are characterized by their ability to evade treatment on many fronts, thus a novel approach to curative therapies is imperative. A population of cells with stem cell-like properties are found within glioblastoma tumors and drive their initiation and progression. Identification of extracellular markers on these tumor stem cells is thus paramount. The cell surface glycoproteins CD133 and CD147 were examined as potential markers of cancer stem cells found in glioblastoma. Here we found evidence which shows that formation of neurospheres with U87MG glioblastoma cells may be driven by increased expression of CD147, correlated with increased CD133 expression. These findings suggest that relative levels of CD147 expression may be used as a determinant to target cancer stem cells in glioblastoma.

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