Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2008

Thesis Advisor(s)

David Knecht

Honors Major

Cell Biology


Cell and Developmental Biology | Cell Biology | Life Sciences


Cellular migration is an integral component of many biological processes including immune function, wound healing and cancer cell metastasis. A complete model illustrating the mechanism by which cells accomplish movement is still lacking. Exploring the affects of various drugs on cell motility may be instrumental in discovering new proteins which mediate cell movement. This project aims ultimately to characterize the molecular target of the drug Cucurbitacin-I, a natural plant product. This drug has been shown to inhibit migration of epithelial sheets and may have anti-tumor activity.

In this paper, we show that Cucurbitacin-I inhibits the migration of MDCK and B16F1 cells. The drug also affects the integrity of the actin cytoskeleton of these cells by indirectly stabilizing filamentous actin. Cucurbitacin-I does not, however, have an effect on the motility or cytoskeletal morphology of the soil amoeba, Dictyostelium discoidium.

Included in

Cell Biology Commons