Submission Date


Document Type



Biochemistry & Molecular Biology


Rebecca Roberts

Committee Member

Lisa Grossbauer

Committee Member

Samantha Wilner

Department Chair

Anthony Lobo

Department Chair

Eric Williamsen

Project Description

Although different in practical use, water bottles, thermal receipts, and food cans all have one thing in common. All of these items have the possibility of containing bisphenols. Bisphenols are synthetic chemicals used in the creation of plastic. Although bisphenols are useful plasticizers, they share a structure very similar to estrogen. This structural similarity allows bisphenols to bind to estrogen receptors and elicit an estrogenic response. This interaction is especially relevant to breast cancers such as MCF-7 in which estrogen receptors are upregulated. When exposed to bisphenols, breast cancer cells increase in proliferation and metastasis. One family of proteases that assists with the metastasis of breast cancer are lysosomal cathepsins. Cathepsins are known to activate tumor growth, migration, invasion, angiogenesis, and metastasis. Therefore, the overall goal of the project is to determine the effects of bisphenols on the metastasis and cathepsin activity of MCF-7 breast cancer cells. To investigate the effects of these bisphenols, MCF-7 breast cancer cells are grown in flasks and treated with concentrations of 5 nm or 50 nm bisphenols. Data is gathered by performing wound healing assays, western blots, and fluorescence assays. Increased levels of metastasis and certain cathepsins can lead to negative impacts upon someone diagnosed with breast cancer.

Available for download on Thursday, April 26, 2029