Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Yu-Dong Zhou

Relational Format



Breast cancer is a highly complex, heterogeneous disease, and potential effective treatment options are being continuously researched in order to provide a method of halting cancer growth and metastasis. One area in particular involves alleviating oxidative stress within cancer cells. Oxidative stress is generally defined as an imbalance between oxidant and antioxidant species in favor of the oxidants. Cancer cells use this oxidative stress to initiate carcinogenesis in cells through different mechanisms, and protein carbonylation is a primary biomarker used to quantify oxidative stress levels. Antioxidant compounds are those used to alleviate oxidative stress within cells. Here breast cancer cells with compounds of varying antioxidant capacity in order to assess their effectiveness in combating oxidative stress. After the cells were treated, their proteins were extracted, and an oxyblot protocol was then performed to determine the degree of protein carbonylation present in each sample. In the experiments, it was observed that cells treated with vitamin E exhibited significant levels of oxidative stress, and cells treated with CoQ10 and lovastatin exhibited little to no change in levels of oxidative stress. The findings on vitamin E were of more interest because vitamin E has been used as an antioxidant in the past, but the findings in this paper show it actually enhanced protein carbonylation within cells.

Accessibility Status

Searchable text

Included in

Biochemistry Commons



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