Faculty Advisor

DeMarais, Alyce

Area of Study

Science and Mathematics

Publication Date

Summer 2014


The Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway regulates genes involved in proliferation and apoptosis. These two traits are hallmarks of cancer cells, which grow excessively and demonstrate low mortality. The Wnt/β-catenin pathway has been implicated in ovarian cancer, specifically epithelial ovarian cancer, wherein higher levels of β-catenin may be involved in the development of tumors. Ovarian epithelial tissue also displays high quantities of androgen receptors and thus may be more susceptible to changes in androgen concentration. This study investigated whether exogenous testosterone (DHT) utilized the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in Danio rerio ovarian tissue by monitoring β-catenin and GSK-3β mRNA expression through quantitative PCR analysis. Data showed that the concentrations of β-catenin and GSK-3β mRNA varied when exposed to DHT for different amounts of time (2 or 4 hours) and concentration of DHT (1, 10, 100 ng/mL). A longer exposure period (4 hr) produced statistically significant results that suggest DHT may inhibit the Wnt/β-catenin pathway; a shorter exposure time (2 hr) produced inconclusive results. Further research will investigate the protein concentrations of β-catenin and GSK-3β, as well as genes regulated by the pathway.


University of Puget Sound

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Funding Description and Statement