Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Anatomy & Neurobiology

First Advisor

Dr. William C. Broaddus


Glioblastomas are among the most devastating of human cancers with a median survival of only 9-12 months. This type of brain tumor is incurable, largely due its remarkable proliferative capacity and resistance to current treatments. High levels of the Wilms' Tumor 1 (WTI) gene have been identified in glioblastomas, suggesting an oncogenic function. Moreover, known WT1 target genes have been implicated in resistance to radiation. To determine the role of WT1 in radiation resistance, two glioblastoma cell lines expressing WT1 were treated with siRNAs to silence this gene. Confirmation of WT1 knockdown was achieved through real-time PCR and Western blot. After treatment with siRNA, cells were irradiated, and cell survival was assessed using a luminescent ATP assay and clonogenic survival assay. We demonstrate that treatment with WT1 siRNA increased the radiation sensitivity in both cell lines. These findings suggest that WT1 functions to protect glioblastoma cells from radiation-induced death.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008