Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Stanislaw Wnuk

Second Advisor

Dr.Ophelia Weeks

Abstract

Gemcitabine (2', 2'-difluoro-2'-deoxycytidine or dFdC) has become a standard chemotherapeutic agent in the treatment of several cellular and solid tumor- related malignancies. Gemcitabine's anti-cancer activity has been attributed to its inhibitory effects on the cell's DNA synthetic machinery resulting in the induction of cell arrest and apoptosis. Despite its broad application, treatment capacity with this drug is limited due to complicated administration schedules stemming from low bioavailability and tumor resistance associated with its rampant intracellular enzymatic inactivation. The aim of this study is to characterize the anti-cancer activity of novel designed and synthesized gemcitabine analogues, that were modified with long alkyl chains at the 4-amino group of the cytosine ring. This study proposes the use of these alternative derivatives of gemcitabine that not only uphold current drug standards for potency, but additionally confer chemical stability against enzymatic inactivation. During screening conducted to identifY prospective gem-analogue candidates, I observed the potent anticancer properties ofthree 4-N modified compounds on MCF-7 breast adenocarcinoma cells. Experiments described here with these compounds referred to as LCO, LCAO, and Gvaldo, evaluate their cytotoxicity on MCF-7 cells at the concentrations of 25flM and 2.5flM, and assess their inhibitory effects on DNA synthesis and cell cycle progression using sulphorhodamine B and bromodeoxyuridine assays as well as flow cytometric analyses, respectively. Among the compounds tested, LCO was shown to be most active inhibitor of DNA synthesis (a=.05; p<.OOl) as reflected as a distinct GO/Gl versus S-phase arrest in the 25flM and 2.5flM treatments, respectively. Together, these experiments provide preliminary evidence for the clinical application of LCO-like gemcitabine derivatives as a novel treatment for breast cancer.

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