A Study Of OKL38, A Potential Tumor Suppressor, In Mitochondria Structure and Function

Open Access
Tokarski, Anthony Thomas
Area of Honors:
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Yanming Wang, Thesis Supervisor
  • David Scott Gilmour, Honors Advisor
  • Wendy Hanna Rose, Faculty Reader
  • OKL38
  • tumor suppressor
  • mitochondria
The mitochondria of eukaryotic cells play an important role in metabolic functions as well as controlling the programmed cell death termed apoptosis. Many tumor suppressing proteins have been identified to date. One of the best studied is p53. This protein has many proapoptotic target genes, including OKL38. OKL38 translocates to the mitochondria following DNA damage or oxidative stress, inducing apoptosis. The mechanism through which this protein achieves its function is currently unknown. Inducible OKL38 expression has been achieved in MCF7 cells and Western Blot analysis shows that a small amount of endogenous OKL38 exists in these breast cancer cells. Phage display and plaque assays have revealed a group of potential OKL38 target proteins, including p53 and subunits of the electron transport chain.