Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Investigating evolutionary hypotheses of cancer cell motility
Author: Wass, Anastasia
ISNI:       0000 0004 8508 6017
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2020
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Cancer is a disease of evolution. Mutations within a cell lead to the acquisition of cancerous phenotypes. Tumour evolution depends on heritable differences between cells. The extent of heritable variation has not been measured for any trait in cancer cell populations. In this thesis techniques have been developed to estimate the broad-sense heritability (H2) of cancer cell traits in vitro and used to estimate the H2 of cell motility. Cell motility is a trait related to the cancer hallmark of metastasis. Results show that motility is strongly heritable with H2 values ranging from 0.77-0.36 across multiple cell generations. H2 estimates appeared to decrease slightly between more distantly related cells, a trend that could occur due to a decrease in the genetic contribution to motility or an increase in environmental variation. This was tested by treating cells with epigenetic inhibitors and obtaining H2 estimates. Results showed H2 estimates were not significantly affected by the application of epigenetic inhibitors with values ranging from 0.95-0.18. Quantification of the amount of environmental variation in in vitro cell culture media was attempted using image analysis of fluorescent particles. Variation in particle distribution was found at a range of concentrations, nM –mM. Direct quantitative measures of evolvability in cell traits could have valuable applications to cancer research and tumour treatment. To understand tumour progression, evolutionary theory can be applied to cancer cells in vitro to elucidate the selective pressures driving the evolution of cancer cell traits. In this project experimental evolution techniques have been adapted from microbiology and applied to cancer cell lines in vitro. Adaptation of cell lines to low nutrient environments over 12 weeks showed dispersal theory may play a role in the selection of the cancer cell trait motility. Understanding the selective pressures driving the acquisition of cancer phenotypes will have valuable applications clinically in understanding tumour progression.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral