Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Lisa Porter


Biology, Cancer, Cell Biology, Mammary, Molecular Biology, Organoids




Mammary development is a continuous and cyclic process that is under tight regulatory control from hormones and cell cycle regulators to mediate transition from the various proliferative, differential and apoptotic steps. Puberty is a time-point of high proliferation during development that has higher susceptibility to breast cancer. Spy1 is a cyclin-like protein known to regulate mammary development and increase proliferation with previous work also showing Spy1 increases tumor susceptibility and pubertal lateral side branching. ¬In this work we demonstrate that elevated levels of Spy1 in puberty significantly increase the number of lateral branches and total epithelial content in mice. Similarly, the pubertal glands saw increased levels of amphiregulin and proliferation. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that elevated Spy1 levels can increase budding in HC11 3D culture and increase total size in primary cell organoids. This data revealed the unique ability of Spy1 to manipulate developmental pathways in the mammary gland.