The Effect of CD44 and Src Kinases on the Aggressive Motility Present in Glioblastoma

Caleb Choy : Molecular & Cell Biology - Neurobiology major

Mentor: Sanjay Kumar, Bioengineering

Glioblastoma is the most common, malignant primary brain tumor with a median survival time of fifteen months. Single tumor cells escape surgical resection and become resistant to radiation and chemotherapy by spreading into microenvironments that support viability. Caleb is focusing on two specific proteins: CD44 (a cell-surface glycoprotein that directly links with the cell cytoskeleton) and Src kinase (involved in the upregulation of signaling pathways)—both of which promote the tumor’s invasion. CD44 interacts with Src activity to control actin proteins that form microfilaments fundamental to cell shape, division, and motility. Caleb is determining whether CD44-mediated invasion (through direct linkage to the cytoskeleton) or Src kinase signaling is more fundamental to glioblastoma, an essential question toward deriving future therapies. Ex vivo experimentation will uncover the importance of this CD44-Src complex.