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UVM Theses and Dissertations

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Format:
Online
Author:
Fitzgerald, Mark P.
Dept./Program:
Cellular, Molecular and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program
Year:
2018
Degree:
MS
Abstract:
This thesis presents evidence of a CD24low/-/CD44+ BCSC subpopulation within the MCF10A breast cancer progression model system. Findings indicate that RUNX1 and RUNX2 expression levels are involved in maintaining the BCSC phenotype. Across two different model systems, qRT-PCR analysis revealed that decreased levels of RUNX1 expression and increased levels of RUNX2 expression are essential for the maintenance of the BCSC subpopulation. It was also shown that low expression levels of RUNX1 and high expression levels of RUNX2 are present in CD24low/-/CD44+ BCSCs as compared to CD24+/CD44+ non-BCSCs. Furthermore, shRNA knockdown of RUNX1 was shown to enhance tumorigenicity, while shRNA knockdown of RUNX2 repressed tumorigenicity in BCSCs, as measured by the tumorsphere-formation assay. This research lays the groundwork for future investigations into the roles of RUNX1 and RUNX2 in regulating stemness in breast cancer.