Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Julia Oxford


Cancer stem cell (CSC) theory hypothesizes that heterogeneity within tumors is not a mere consequence of random mutation and clonal evolution, but results from an intrinsic hierarchy of cells. The KeWe cell line was isolated and characterized in Dr. Oxford’s lab. Characterization has included the determination of conditions for maintenance in cell culture for extended periods of time and using different techniques to count the cells to characterize cellular proliferation rates. Collagen XIα1 can be found throughout the body in a variety of places including tendons, skin, ligaments, interstitial tissue, dentin, blood vessels, the cornea, intervertebral discs, muscle, bone, and cartilage. The purpose of this research is to examine the proliferation rates of the KeWe cell line and analyze them to see if they meet the criteria of stem cells and would therefore provide a model system for the investigation of the stem cell theory of cancer. In order to fulfill this research, confirming the high proliferation rate in the cells and identifying the signaling pathways that are active will be the first steps. After confirming the stem cell nature of the KeWe cell line, we propose to use Collagen XIα1 to control stem cell-like behaviors that are important in cancer initiation and progression. Changes in gene and protein expression will be analyzed using high throughput qPCR and mass spectrometry. Collagens are the most abundant protein in the body, and changes in the Collagen XIα1 expression have been identified in cancers and may play a role in disease progression.