Christina Lin Rose Hills
Induction and confirmation of an EMT spectrum in SKOV-3 cells with TGF- & thrombin
Ovarian cancer is one of the most difficult to study because of its extreme heterogeneity due to its increased likelihood of undergoing epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a progression towards malignancy. Cells undergoing EMT not only seem to evade detection, but also are resistant to chemotherapeutic drugs. I propose to evaluate the relative gene expression levels of selected epithelial and mesenchymal markers throughout phases of EMT. I will induce EMT in ovarian epithelial cells, SKOV-3, through introduction of either transforming growth factor (TGF-) or thrombin. The morphing phenotype can be evaluated via expression of specific markers, including E-cadherin, pan-cytokeratin, and vimentin. I will sort via expression levels of various genes, utilizing quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) to quantify gene expression levels specific to ovarian cancer. With more comprehensive understanding of ovarian cancer cells changing phenotypically and genotypically, my work potentially allows for earlier diagnosis, improved treatments, and new therapies.