Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Medical Biophysics


Dr. Paula Foster

2nd Supervisor

Dr. Dwayne Jackson

Joint Supervisor


Studies have demonstrated a correlation between stress and an increased risk of breast cancer. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is up- regulated in chronic stress and induces proliferation and chemotaxis of 4T1 breast cancer cells via Y5 receptor (Y5R) activation. In the studies performed in this thesis, we characterize NPY-Y5R as a regulatory system that promotes breast cancer metastasis. We compared three cancer cell sublines derived from the same murine mammary fat pad tumour, that greatly differ in metastatic potential (67NR, 168FARN, and 4T1) in addition to a 4T1-Y5R knockdown established in our labs. In this thesis we demonstrate significance of up-regulation and cytoplasmic localization of Y5R to support an aggressively metastasizing breast cancer cell line. Using cellular MRI we characterized the knockdown of Y5R to alter breast carcinogenesis and metastasis. In this respect, NPY and its Y5 receptor could be therapeutic targets to combat breast cancer metastasis.