Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Physiology and Pharmacology


Dagnino, Lina


Feline sarcoma-related (FER) kinase is a ubiquitous non-receptor tyrosine kinase overexpressed in many cancer types. It promotes proliferation, migration and metastasis in prostate, lung and ovarian carcinoma cells, respectively. However, the biological roles of FER in human metastatic melanoma have not been explored. I used a doxycycline-inducible, lentivirus-based shRNA approach to silence FER kinase expression in the 131/4-5B1 human melanoma (hereafter termed 5B1) cells. I determined fewer FER-deficient 5B1 cells in the S-phase of the cell cycle and reduced motility of FER-deficient 5B1 cells, suggesting that FER promotes 5B1 cell cycle transit and migration. In vivo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) studies demonstrate that FER-deficient 5B1 cells have an increased capacity to invade into CAM mesoderm and that both FER-expressing and FER-deficient tumours acquire endothelial cells within the tumour. My study outlines a novel role for FER kinase in 5B1 cell proliferation, migration and invasion.