Faculty Advisor

Saucedo, Leslie

Area of Study

Science and Mathematics

Publication Date

Summer 2016


Cancer occurs when cells continuously proliferate, a commonality with stem cells. Increases in antioxidants can increase the number of stem cells, through unknown mechanisms. This study examined the number of stem cells per niche to see if it changed in different redox environments, with the addition of proteins through genetic manipulation of the model organism of fruit flies (Drosophila). CncC, which promotes reduction, Keap1, which inhibits CncC, and PRL, which counters cell growth, were added to Drosophila. It was found that Keap1 resulted in 43.5% reduction of stem cells per niche. Ultimately, using flies as a model organism to uncover the genetic mechanism underlying misregulation of cell growth can help us comprehend how cancers can be treated through targeting the function of proteins such as PRL, Keap1, and CnC.


University of Puget Sound