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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Valerie M. Kish


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a brain tumor derived from a specific type of glial cell. GBMs are extremely aggressive, invading normal nervous tissue leading to a fatal malignancy. Current treatment involves radiation, although this is rarely a cure. The research goal is to examine the effects of irradiation of glioma cells taken from two patients with advanced GBM on levels of proteins known to be involved in the cell cycle and apoptosis (programmed cell death). The two cell lines, U87 and THNA, the latter acquired through surgical resection at MCV, were analyzed for the levels of specific cell proteins: p53, p21, mdm-2, PTEN, and bax. In U87 cells P53 and P21 expression appear to increase up to 48 hours after irradiation. Mdm-2 expression is relatively constant and PTEN and Bax have low expression patterns during this time period. In THNA cells, both P53 and P21 protein expression increase up to 48 hours after irradiation. Mdm-2 steadily increases and PTEN and Bax had low expression levels that increase in expression up to 48 hours after irradiation. It is important to analyze the effects of irradiation on proteins that control both the fate and division of cells. Consequently, once we are able to monitor these effects we will be able to further our understanding regarding the development of tumors. The experiments performed allow us to better understand how p53 protein effects on p21, bax, mdm-2, and PTEN relate to the specific cell line's p53 genotype and phenotype.