Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2012

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



Biological Sciences

Program or Major

Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology

First Advisor

Charles Walker


Cytoplasmic sequestration of p53, possibly caused by p53 interacting with mortalin, can prevent p53 from functioning in DNA repair and apoptosis, causing aberrant growth. This project treated SKBR3 breast cancer cells with MKT-077, a dye that is a competitive binder to mortalin to see if it would result in the release of p53 from the cytoplasm and restoration of p53 function. Treatment resulted in partial translocation of a protein suspected to be p53 to the nucleus and apoptosis initiated at the mitochondria.