PhD Dissertation:Bahriye Karakas
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  • PhD Dissertation:Bahriye Karakas

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Explorıng the effects of mıtochondrıal estrogen receptors on mıtochondrıal prımıng and endocrıne therapy response ın breast cancer cells



Bahriye Karakas
Molecular Biology Genetics and Bioengineering Program, PhD Dissertation, 2017


Thesis Jury

Prof. Huveyda Basaga (Thesis Advisor), Prof. Selim Cetiner, Assoc. Prof. Devrim Gozuacik, Asst. Prof. Ozgur Kutuk, Asst. Prof. Ozgur Gul


Date & Time: January5th, 2017 –  1 PM

Place: G035

Keywords : Breast cancer, estrogen receptor, endocrine therapy, mitochondria, BH3profiling





Breast cancer is the leading cause of death among women globally. Estrogen receptor status is important prognostic factor and anti-estrogen (endocrine) therapy is the choice of first-line treatment in ER-positive breast cancer cases. Resistance to treatment and tumor recurrence often occur even though targeted therapies exist. Therefore, accurate biomarkers are needed to predict which individuals will respond to endocrine therapy. In this study, we aim to explore how estrogen receptors affect mitochondrial cell death priming and endocrine therapy response in breast cancer cells. We use a novel assay called BH3 profiling to measure the cells proximity for  mitochondrial apoptosis. Our initial results indicate mitochondria might be targeted by estrogens and this point outs the role of estrogen receptors in endocrine therapy response and breast cancer progression. Our work highlights the promising potential of using BH3 profiling assay in prediction of breast cancer endocrine therapy response.