Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biological Sciences (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Biological Sciences

Advisor 1

Paul Goetsch

Committee Member 1

Robert Larson

Committee Member 2

Mark Tang


Roughly 1% of women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer during their lifetime. There are many different factors that impact how likely someone is to develop ovarian cancer including age, lifestyle, and family history. Ovarian cancer, like all cancers, occurs due to the accumulation of cancer cells that result from errors in the cell cycle or its regulation. Here, we studied how cell cycle gene expression was altered in the epithelial-like ovarian cancer cell line SKOV3, as compared to the pre-cancerous ovarian cell line FT282, and the non-cancerous foreskin fibroblast cell line BJ5Ta. The three cell lines were synchronized into cell cycle quiescence using CDK4/6 inhibitors for 24 hours before being released into the cell cycle. To compare cell cycle gene regulation between these cell lines, we evaluated the expression of early and late cell cycle genes every two hours following release into the cell cycle using RT-qPCR. The timepoints tested spanned the G1 and S phases of the cell cycle. We observed that the expression of the early and late cell cycle genes tended to be higher in the cancerous cell line at all time points tested, but the regulation of cell cycle genes remained similar between SKOV3 and FT282 cells. However, we observed few changes in cell cycle gene expression over time in BJ5Ta cells, which may indicate that the cell line responds differently to CDK4/6 inhibition that the other cell lines. Our results suggest that although cell cycle gene regulation in SKOV3 cells differs from non-cancerous cell lines, the difference observed was primarily in response to cell cycle quiescence and not in release into the cell cycle. These RT-qPCR results will be used to set up RNA sequencing experiments that will give further insight into the expression levels of these early and late cell cycle genes, and how cell cycle regulation may differ between cancerous and non-cancerous cells.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.