Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Biological Sciences


Renato J. Aguilera


Tumor interactions predominantly dominate cancer progression and its tumor microenvironment. Such interactions include, tumors generating signals that cause dysfunction and death to immune cells [1]. Inflammatory and immune cells present to eliminate cancer cells fail and lose their overall function [1]. These cells lose the overall ability to aid and are co-opted to promote tumor growth. Ultimately, the result is escaping from the hosts' immune system and developing a complex mechanism that evades immune cells and the inability to undergo apoptosis. It is imperative to develop a better understanding of the complex machinery cancer develops. There are current therapies that are being utilized to treat cancer. Some of which include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapy, etc. [2]. Said treatments had been proven to work in some cases. However, individuals that have received chemotherapy or radiation to the chest can develop heart problems post-treatment [3]. The overall impact of chemotherapy, radiation, and any other treatment can be more detrimental than that disease itself with long-lasting effects. There are treatments that target not only the cancer cells but normal cells as well, making it a difficult process. Other treatments are only specific for certain genes, targeting a small percentage of individuals. The need for alternative novel treatments is present. It has been shown that there are novel compounds undergoing testing through high-throughput drug screening that possess favorable cytotoxic and selective effects.Cancer is continuously affecting the lives of millions of people annually. It is the second leading cause of death and the disparities alone raise importance of investigating alternative methods to treat the disease. The process of drug discovery has transformed in the past decade. It is now of great importance to investigate the mechanism of action at which said compounds induce cancer cell death. By doing this, it will provide great insight on how drug discovery can affect different pathways in the cell and how we can take an alternative approach to overcoming cancer. Previously published works have reported cytotoxic effects of piperidone compounds. It has been shown some piperidone compounds induce cell death by the intrinsic apoptotic pathway and inhibit the proteasome. Cancer cells utilize the proteasome to degrade proteins and various transcription factors to aid in their over proliferation. In this project, the mechanism of two piperidone compounds and one thiophenecarboxylate will be described. Detailed in this dissertation is the mechanism of death, proteasome inhibition of the piperidone compounds, and investigation of the thiophenecarboxylate that could potentially be used in future anticancer therapy.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

92 p.

File Format


Rights Holder

Risa Mia Swain

Included in

Biology Commons