Examining Subcellular Localization of Cell Cycle Components to Determine a Better Breast Cancer Treatment

Gloria Brar : Molecular and Cell Biology

Mentor: Professor Gary Firestone, Molecular & Cell Biology

Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) is a natural compound found in Brassica vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage; this compound has been shown to arrest the growth of breast cancer cells in a mechanism that seems to involve several critical cell cycle proteins. Gloria's Molecular & Cell Biology Senior Honors Thesis project will investigate the changes in subcellular localization of these proteins. This data will help characterize the mechanism of I3C-induced breast cancer cell growth arrest and will be useful in evaluating the mechanisms and therapeutic promise of certain I3C derivatives. In addition, Gloria's project will help determine the potential therapeutic value of a combinatorial breast cancer treatment using I3C along with tamoxifen, the current breast cancer treatment of choice. This combinatorial treatment shows great promise, since I3C and tamoxifen together have been found to arrest breast cancer cell growth more effectively than either treatment alone.