Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Research with extracellular vesicles (EVs) in measurement science has typically revolved around detecting their presence and identifying/quantifying their contents for potential diagnostics applications. At the same time, of significant interest of late with EVs is better understanding their role in cellular communication, especially in the context of what is known as the bystander effect. The latter is described as the situation wherein cells with given characteristics impart those characteristics on other nearby cells of a different origin. Of great importance is understanding the role of the bystander effect in cells in proximity to those undergoing oxidative stress. In this regard, examining the expression and activity of proteins, such as those that are significantly upregulated in cancer cells and provide cytoprotective ability to not only the diseased cells but surrounding healthy tissue, may help elucidate their role in cancer communication pathways. One such protein is human NAD(P)H: quinone oxidoreductase-1 (NQO1), due to its over-expression in select cancerous tissues. To that end, the goal of this research is to determine if extracellular vesicles are capable of transporting both intact protein and RNA required for the expression of NQO1 in nearby "recipient" cells. Therefore, in this dissertation will be discussed the detailed characterization of extracellular vesicles produced by cancer cell lines, evaluation of NQO1 expression and its activity in EVs from high-NQO1-expressing cancer cell lines, examination of EV uptake in recipient cells, and determination of NQO1 expression in EV-exposed/recipient cells, as well as assessment of RNA presence in EVs and exposed cells. In sum, the outcomes point to EVs as a possible pathway to imparting cytoprotective properties on cells proximal to cancerous ones.



Committee Chair

McCarley, Robin L.



Available for download on Monday, November 13, 2028