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. Matthew Terry


The PI3K pathway controls many cellular processes such as cell growth, survival, metabolism, apoptosis, and differentiation. Canonically, PI3K activates AKT leading to subsequent nuclear exportation of FOXO transcription factors. Dysregulation of the PI3K pathway is a hallmark in many cancers and often is attributable to a null mutation in PTEN. PTEN is a phosphatase that reverses the reactions catalyzed by PI3K. Loss of PTEN leads to constitutive inactivation of tumor suppressor FOXO proteins. However, there is increasing evidence that FOXO may still reside and promote transcriptional activity in the nucleus despite high PI3K output within certain advance cancers and embryonic stem cells. We show that within a PTEN-null setting in glioblastomas, FOXO is still active and regulates OCT4 and SOX2 (master regulators of pluripotency) despite constitutive PI3K activation.


At the request of the author or degree granting institution, this graduate work is not available to view or purchase until December 30 2023. Copyright 2017 Eduardo Leonel Martinez. All Rights Reserved.

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