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Title page for ETD etd-04092013-122252

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Lee, Sora
Author's Email Address leesora@gmail.com
URN etd-04092013-122252
Title Focal Adhesion Kinase Mediates Gastrin-Releasing Peptide Receptor-Induced Neuroblastoma Progression
Degree PhD
Department Cancer Biology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dr. Roy Zent Committee Chair
Dr. Ambra Pozzi Committee Member
Dr. Dai H. Chung Committee Member
Dr. Jason Jessen Committee Member
  • GRPR
  • Neuroblastoma
  • FAK
  • Integrin
  • Metastasis
  • Cancer
Date of Defense 2013-03-12
Availability unrestricted
Neuroblastomas express increased levels of gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR). However, the exact molecular mechanisms involved in GRPR-mediated cell signaling in neuroblastoma growth and metastasis are unknown. In this dissertation, I demonstrate that focal adhesion kinase (FAK), as a critical downstream target of GRPR, is an important regulator of neuroblastoma growth and metastasis. I modulated the expression of GRPR and FAK in cells and tested their functional role in tumor progression in vitro and in vivo. Additionally, I investigated the role of Integrins in regulation of FAK activation and cell migration in GRPR overexpressing neuroblastoma cells. Moreover, I evaluated the effect of a FAK inhibitor in vivo, which suppressed GRP-induced neuroblastoma growth and metastasis. Our results indicate that FAK is a critical downstream regulator of GRPR, which mediates tumorigenesis and metastasis in neuroblastoma.
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