Document Type


Date of Award



College of Science, Engineering, and Technology (COSET)

Degree Name

MS in Biology

First Advisor

Audrey Player


The objective of this project was to characterize interleukin 32 (IL32) and related genes in basal-like/triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) and other breast tissues. Preliminary experiments in our laboratory showed that IL32 gene was overly expressed in a subpopulation of basal-like/TNBC. We used T-test to separate the basallike/ TNBC into 'IL32 high and IL32 low samples' and identified genes differentially expressed between the 2 populations. As follow-up, using Gene Ontology analyses, we found that a specific set of immune-related genes were consistently differentially expressed with IL32 in the subpopulation ofbasal-like/TNBC. These data suggest that IL32 and the immune-related genes might together 'drive' the breast cancers. As a first step towards better understanding breast cancer, for this project, we (a) determined the gene expression levels ofIL32 and the immune-related 1 genes in cell lines separated based on high versus low IL32 gene expression levels, and (b) determined IL32 protein levels in clinical samples defamed by prognosis (i.e., survival). Our experiments should help in characterizing basal-like/TNBC and for the first time begin to address the possible clinical utility ofIL32 in these cancers.