Amanda Cole

Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2012

Capstone Advisor

Francesca Pignoni, Ph.D.

Honors Reader

John Belote, Ph.D

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Sciences and Engineering

Subject Categories

Biology | Genetics | Immunology and Infectious Disease


Cancer is a complex and multigenic disease, which is typically initiated by genetic mutations in tumor suppressor genes that regulate homeostatic mechanisms within cells. Oncogenic promoter mutations, like those involved in signal transduction pathways, also have the potential to induce cancer in an otherwise healthy organism. Transformation is highly dependent upon mutations to both tumor suppressor and oncogenes, as neither mutation is exclusive in its ability to generate malignant tumors. In the model organism, Drosophila melanogaster, I have generated metastatic cancer through the genetic effect of overactive Raf signaling, in conjugation with silencing selected tumor suppressor genes using RNA interference. Metastasis, the uncontrollable migration of cancer to non-adjacent areas within an organism, was analyzed in vivo, using Green Fluorescent Protein as an indicator for the presence of mutant tissue. Scribble (scrib) and Discs large (Dlg), two genes involved in cell polarity, demonstrated the highest incidence of metastatic cancer when silenced using RNAi. This novel preliminary screen exhibits the influential role of Raf signaling and cell polarity genes in generating metastatic cancer.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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