Submission Date


Document Type



Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Faculty Mentor

Rebecca Roberts

Student Contributor

Saloni Parikh


Presented during the 19th Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 21, 2017 at Ursinus College.

Project Description

In the twenty-first century, plastic is a major product we use throughout our daily lives. One of the main components that is used to create and harden some plastics is a compound called bisphenol A (BPA). It is found widely in most of the plastics we use today from dishware to toys. The resins of BPA can leech into the food that we consume from plastic containers. One of the main issues with BPA is that it has a similar structure to the hormone estrogen and can bind to estrogen receptors. Estrogen is known to elicit cell proliferation and regulate many cellular growth activities. Although many companies have switched to BPA free products, the plasticizer is replaced with other bisphenols such as BPS or BPF which also share structures similar to estrogen. One consequence of bisphenol exposure can be an increase in cathepsin activity. Since cathepsins are linked to cell metastasis and may be controlled by estrogen, more chemicals binding to estrogen receptors could mean more cancer metastasis. The goal of this research is to analyze the effect of BPA, BPS, and BPF on cathepsin activity and cell metastasis on an MCF-7 line of human breast cancer cells.

Available for download on Tuesday, July 20, 2027

Open Access

Available to all.