Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition Implications in Cancer Development

Megan Johnson, Alyssa Davenport, Mia Damiano, Savannah Finley, Robyn Abernethy, Emma Kate Banks, Marena Fleming, Soline McGee, Ellona Moulds, Dr. Heather Dunn, Dr. Marlee Marsh, Amber Stone, Department of Bioengineering, Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Clemson University and Columbia College, 138 Poole Ag Building, Clemson SC 29634 1301 Columbia College Drive, Columbia SC 29203

This research focuses on the relationship between the occurrence of the Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) and the development of cancer by analyzing genetic expression of cells comprising breast cancer tumors and the stromal region that surrounds the tumor tissue. EMT is a process in which highly organized stable epithelial cells become unorganized and convert to mobile mesenchymal cells. This process occurs during embryonic development, wound repair, and cancer initiation. In non-diseased breast tissue, stromal cells are comprised of connective and extracellular tissue cells while the luminal cells produce secretory proteins and line the ducts of breast tissue. During cancer, the EMT process is believed to allow tumorigenic cells to invade secondary locations and proliferate, leading to tumor growth and metastasis. Laser microdissection (LMD) techniques assist in separating stromal and luminal cell populations for analysis in cancer and non-diseased tissue which may provide information regarding changes to the extracellular matrix (ECM) and how this area may guide tumor growth. Histological analysis comparing ECM and luminal regions between non-diseased and breast cancer tissue may lead to the identification of morphological cellular changes. The anticipated conclusion is to gain insight to the cellular and architectural cues that begin in the ECM and potentially initiate tumor progression, proliferation or migration. Samples used for LMD analysis and histological images were obtained from human tissue biorepositories.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Megan Johnson, Mia Damiano -
Alyssa Davenport -
Savannah Finley -

Institution: Clemson University

Type: Poster

Subject: Microbiology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 8
Date/Time: Tue 5:00pm-6:00pm
Session Number: 5650