Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Rebecca Heise


The objective of this study was to investigate primary cilia and their mechanotransduction role in lung adenocarcinoma tumor progression. The main focus investigated the effect of primary cilia on cell cycle progression, survival, adhesion and migration analysis of these cells and the role of sonic hedgehog signaling pathway in mechanotransduction. Human Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) adenocarcinoma biopsies contain more primary cilia than non-tumor lung sections. To observe the effects of primary cilia presence in lung cancer cells in-vitro, formation of primary cilia is inhibited using small interfering RNA. A549 cells with intact primary cilia observe less cell cycle progression than cells deficient in primary cilia under static and cyclic stretch conditions. Primary cilia cause higher cell survival and adhesion. Increase in cell adhesion also increases the migration and wound closure rates in control samples compared to samples treated with inhibition of IFT88, thereby increasing the metastasis of these cells. Several downstream regulatory genes in sonic hedgehog signaling pathway observe significantly decreased gene expressions in primary cilia deficient cells, thus indicating inefficient mechanotransduction. Therefore, cancer cells need primary cilia to survive, adhere and migrate and continue tumor progression.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2013