Jessica Jones

Effect of Selinexor Treatment on pAkt2 Quantity and Akt2 Location in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells

Akt is a protein kinase involved in cell survival and proliferation, and activated forms engage in tumor initiation and growth. Selinexor is a nuclear export inhibitor approved for some cancer treatments. Dr. Odom’s lab has previously demonstrated that selinexor hyperactivates BT549 cells’ Akt while inducing cell death. As Akt function generally promotes cell survival, it is compelling that selinexor simultaneously activaties Akt and induces cell death. This project aimed to determine if selinexor impacts one of Akt’s three isoforms more than others. Akt3 levels in BT549 cells are low, so this project focused on Akt2. The hypothesis was: selinexor alters the activation and localization of Akt2 in BT549 cells. The study examined the relative quantity of activated Akt2 and location of total Akt2 in triple-negative breast cancer cells following selinexor treatment. I used microscopy to observe the location and relative quantity of total Akt2 across varied treatment times with selinexor or a control. I also isolated activated Akt from control and selinexor treated samples and determined the amount of activated Akt2 and total Akt. I determined that while the relative amount of Akt2 is lower after 15 minutes of selinexor treatment rather than the control, there is more Akt2 in selinexor treated samples after 21 hours. Furthermore, the portion of activated Akt2 in activated Akt after 21 hours of selinexor treatment is higher than the control.

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