Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


College of Science and Mathematics



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Carlos A. Molina

Committee Member

Kirsten Monsen-Collar

Committee Member

Ann Marie DiLorenzo


The transcriptional repressor Inducible cyclic-AMP Early Repressor (ICER) is an isoform of the cAMP-responsive element modulator (CREM) gene. ICER protein has tumor suppressor activity by regulating cAMP-induced transcription. ICER has been found to be effective in providing an anti-tumor effect when in many tumors including melanomas. Melanoma is an aggressive type of skin cancer that begins when there is an overproduction of melanocytes. Using a zebrafish model for melanoma, our laboratory has recently demonstrated that zebrafish that are expressing ICER in their melanocytes succumbed to malignancies at a much faster rate than the control Green Fluorescent protein (GFP)- expressing fish. These fish melanomas were used in our laboratory to generate two fish lines: miniCoopR-EGFP and miniCoopR-HA-wt-ICER. The goal is to use these cell lines to get a better understanding of these unexpected observations. By characterizing the cell line expressing ICER we hope to determine what is causing the malignancies to be increasing. In this thesis, we have characterized these cell lines and demonstrated that they maintain the expected expression of the transgenes, GFP and ICER. We demonstrate that ICER-expressing cell lines grow faster than EGFP control tumor cells. These observations suggested that this ICER-expressing fish melanoma cell line could be used as a model system to further studies the molecular mechanism for unexpected malignancies.

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