Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Porter, Lisa (Biological Sciences)


Biology, Molecular.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Cell growth and development is regulated by the cell division cycle, which dictates how efficiently cells communicate with each other and is dependent on cellular morphology. Our lab focuses on a novel cell cycle regulator, Spy1A, which has been shown to enhance cellular proliferation and regulate mammary development. Elevated levels of Spy1A significantly increased cell invasion, coincident with an increase beta-catenin transcriptional levels. We hypothesize that these characteristics may maintain cells in a more & "stem-like" state. Mammary stem cells are highly proliferative, they rely on adherence to surrounding cells for self renewal and invasion and migration into the mammary fat pad. We further demonstrate that Spy1A overexpression results in the formation of larger mammospheres, where mammosphere size has been correlative of stimulating stem cell self-renewal. Further resolving the roles of Spy1 in the developing mammary gland is essential to fully elucidate its roles in human disease.