Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Megan Keniry

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Gilkerson

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael Persans


Many processes are regulated by the Phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K) pathway in the cell including cell survival, metabolism, and apoptosis. Increased activation of the PI3K pathway is a hallmark of many cancers which can be oftentimes attributed to the mutation of PTEN, which encodes an enzyme that performs the reverse reaction of PI3K. When PTEN is null-mutated, this creates a constitutively active PI3K pathway and constitutively active AKT. Since AKT phosphorylates conserved residues on FOXO transcription factors to mark them for nuclear export, this renders FOXO inactive. However, new research has provided evidence that FOXO is still present in the nucleus of at least some of these PTEN-null cancer cells, and that this FOXO is still promoting transcription despite high AKT output in certain highly aggressive cancer and embryonic stem cells. We show that in a PTEN-null glioblastoma setting, FOXO is still active and regulates PEPCK (regulator of gluconeogenesis) expression despite high output of PI3K.


Copyright 2018 Victor Eric Michael Fanniel. All Rights Reserved.

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