Can Gene Silencing of PNUTS Inhibit Cancer Growth


This document was uploaded to the university institutional repository, the Pace Digital Commons, on January 12, 2007.

Document Type



In cancer, cells divide and proliferate in an uncontrolled manner. Thus, the investigation of the molecules that control cell dividison may lead to information needed to understand cancer cell development and growth. This project was designed to study the function of a protein called PNUTS which is proposed to be an activator of cell proliferation in breast cancer. We found that blocking the expression of the PNUTS protein by RNA interference stops breast cancer cells from proliferating. This may lead to the development of a new therapy to treat breast cancer.

Information about the Student Author

Class of 2006, Major: Biology

Summary of Research Experience

My work with Dr. Nancy Krucher has enabled me to engage in novel, independent inquiry into the mechanisms of breast cancer growth and to work on a possible treatment. This experience has allowed me to understand the dedication and work involved in a career in scientific research. If I do go on to graduate school in biodmedical research, I feel I know what kinds of challenges lie before me. Learning research methods has given me the confidence to pursue a career in medicine/medical research. I feel that the experience has given me a solid understanding of the scientific method and the capability to communicate my results to fellow researchers.

Dissemination of Results

I spoke about the Lang research project at Pace's Fall Faculty Conference on November 11, 2005. Dr. Krucher and I have authored a paper entitled, "Dephosphorylation of Thr-821 of Rb under conditions of cell stress." That paper has been submitted to a professional journal and is currently under review. We have another paper in preparation entitled: "RNAi of PNUTS in breast cancer: inhibition of proliferation and activation of apoptosis." We are optimistic that both papers will be published.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Nancy Krucher, Associate Professor of Biology

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