Date of Graduation


Document Type

Thesis (MS)

Program Affiliation

Biomedical Sciences

Degree Name

Masters of Science (MS)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Dr. Russell R. Broaddus

Committee Member

Dr. Karen H. Lu

Committee Member

Dr. Rosemarie E. Schmandt

Committee Member

Dr. Adrienne S. McCampbell

Committee Member

Dr. Kwong K. Wong


Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecological malignancy and the fourth most frequently diagnosed cancer among women. The molecular changes that distinguish normal endometrium from endometrial carcinoma are not thoroughly understood. Identification of these changes could potentially aid in identifying at-risk women who are especially prone to develop endometrial cancer, such as obese women and women with Lynch Syndrome.

A microarray analysis was performed using normal endometrium from thin and obese women and cancerous endometrium from obese women. We validated the differential expression of ten genes whose expression was significantly up-regulated or down-regulated using qRT-PCR. All of the genes had distinct expression levels depending on the endometrial carcinoma histotype. As a result, they could serve as molecular markers to distinguish between normal endometrium and endometrial cancer, as well as between low grade endometrial carcinomas and high grade endometrial carcinomas.

Two of the ten genes validated, HEYL and HES1, are down-stream targets of the Notch signaling pathway. HEYL and HES1 were identified by microarray and qRT-PCR to have a significant decrease in expression in endometrial carcinomas compared to normal endometrium. We further analyzed the differential expression of other components of the Notch signaling pathway, Notch4 and Jagged1. They were also identified by qRT-PCR to be significantly down-regulated in endometrial carcinomas compared to normal endometrium. Therefore, we believe the Notch signaling pathway to act as a tumor suppressor in endometrial carcinomas.


Notch pathway, endometrial cancer, tumor suppressor, Jagged1, Notch4, HEYL, HES1, gene validation



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.