Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences

Date of Last Revision

2021-12-06 07:22:06


Biomedical Science

Honors Course


Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Fall 2021


The primary objective of this project was to determine the effect of CXCL12 ligand binding on the CXCR4 receptor, specifically, how it would impact receptor internalization and dimerization. The CXCL12 ligand derives from the stromal cell-derived alpha family [8]. The CXCR4 receptors, known as C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 play an essential role in controlling cell proliferation. When misregulated, these receptors can drive tumorigenesis and are thus important targets of cancer therapy. These G protein-coupled receptors stimulate a cascade of signaling pathways in specific tissues [1]. These pathways include the positive transcriptional control of CXCR4 via the Nuclear Respiratory Factor-1 (NFR-1) and also include cytokines such as interleukin-2 (IL-2) for CXCR4 expression [2]. From prior studies, it is evident that this receptor has multiple purposes apart from controlling cell proliferation and that is it also controls leukocyte trafficking, and hematopoiesis [5]. My goal was to investigate how the CXCR4 internalization and dimerization is altered by ligand stimulation. I measured CXCR4 levels at the plasma membrane using fluorescent imaging. Dimerization was measured with a time-resolved fluorescence method called PIE-FCCS. This technique allows the study of the CXCR4 membrane organization in living cells at varying densities on the cell surface based on the fluorescence intensity fluctuations [6].

Research Sponsor

Dr. Adam W. Smith

First Reader

Dr. Robert J. Duff

Second Reader

Dr. Brian P. Bagatto

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Brian P. Bagatto

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Signature Page



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