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Title: Discovery and restoration of aberrant nuclear structure and genome behaviour in breast cancer cells
Author: Hassan Ahmed, Mai
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2013
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The eukaryotic interphase nucleus is well organised and the genome positioned non-randomly. Nuclear structure is an important regulator of genome behaviour and function. Genome organisation and nuclear structure are compromised in diseases such as cancer and laminopathies. This study was to find out and to determine if there is any functional relationship between nuclear structure and genome mis-organisation in cancer cells. I have assessed the presence and distribution of specific nuclear structural proteins (A-type, B-type lamins and its receptor LBR, many of their binding proteins such as MAN1, LAP2α, LAP2, and Emerin and other nuclear proteins (PML, Nucleolin, and Ki67) using indirect immunofluorescence. From this study, it is found that the nuclear structure of breast cancer cells is often altered. The most severely affected proteins are the nuclear lamins B1 and B2 and they found as large foci within the nucleoplasm with little LBR expression to localise the lamin B. I also assessed the chromosome positioning (HSA 7, 10, 11, 14 and 17) and gene positioning (AKT1, CCND1, HSP90AA1, EGFR, ERRBB2/HER2 and PTEN) in breast cancer cell lines (T-47D, GI-101, Sk-Br-3 and BT-474) and in normal breast cell lines (MCF-10A) using 2D-FISH technique. I also assessed the position of the genes in nuclei and correlated with gene expression using qRT-PCR. Breast cell lines have treated with a drug named lovastatin and it was found that the cells have restored LBR expression and localisation of lamin B, leading to altered gene positioning and changed expression of breast cancer genes. Since the drug (lovastatin, 12 μM/48 hours) affects the prenylation as a post-translation modification process and lamins B biosythensis, it is found that B-type lamins and its receptor expression and distribution were improved and increased in expression by 2-fold in expression levels in the most affected cells (T-47D, and BT-474) compared to the normal cells (MCF-10A) and these cells also showed abnormal nuclei and dead cells. When analysing the nuclear positioning of the genes (AKT1, HSP90AA1 and ERRBB2/HER2), it is found that AKT1 was positioned periphery in BT-474 and T-47D cells and interiorly in the normal cells (MCF-10A) before treatment whereas the same gene was positioned periphery in T-47D and MCF-10A cells and interiorly in BT-474 after treatment with lovastatin. It is also found that HSP90AA1 was positioned periphery in MCF-10A and T-47D cells and interiorly in BT-474 cells before and after treatment (no change). Moreover, ERRBB2/HER2 gene was positioned periphery in T-47D and BT-474 cells and interiorly in MCF-10A cells before treatment whereas the same gene was positioned periphery in MCF-10A and T-47D cells and interiorly in BT-474 after treatment with the same drug. Regarding LMNB1, LMNB2, and LBR genes, the study focussed only on their expression levels and no work has done on their chromosome positioning as well as gene position before and after treatment. These three genes were over expressed when assessed by measuring the relative and fold changes in expression. Therefore, it is suggestive that 2D-FISH experiment to assess their localisation and their specific chromosome territories is required. The results shown in this thesis demonstrate the importance and roles of nuclear architecture specifically nuclear lamins and the integral nuclear membrane proteins (B-type lamins and LBR) in mediating correct genome organisation and function. The breast normal (immortalised cells) and cancerous cell lines showed different nuclear structures as lamin B affect the position of specific target chromosomes and genes. These results will strength the finding that the nuclear lamina is a significant nuclear structure which associates, organises, and regulates numerous vital nuclear processes and the stability of the genome.
Supervisor: Bridger, J.; Harvey, A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Breast cancer ; Nuclear lamins ; Lamin B receptor ; Nuclear structure ; Genome organisation