First Advisor

Sebnem Ece Eksi

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology and University Honors






Prostate -- Cancer -- Diagnosis, Transcription factors, DNA-binding proteins, Prostate -- Tumors -- Classification




Prostate cancer (PC) is the second leading cause of death in men, affecting around 190 thousand patients in 2020 alone (National Institute of Cancer, 2020). Much of the current research focuses on treatments for advanced PC, which is problematic due to the rapid evolution of tumors and development of treatment resistance. Cancer early detection presents a better approach to control and treat patients before they acquire an incurable disease. Earlier diagnosis of patients leads to better prognosis and a more comfortable treatment process (Etzioni et al., 2003). However, we currently lack molecular markers to stratify PC during its early stages. This study reviews the function and expression level of three DNA-binding transcription factors, FOXA1, HOXB13, and CDX2, in different grades of localized PC. Our investigation shows a grade-dependent increase in FOXA1 expression in prostate tumors, such that high-grade tumors have the highest levels of expression. In contrast, HOXB13 expression does not change in different grades of localized PC. Interestingly, CDX2 has an inverse correlation with tumor grade, such that high-grade tumors have the lowest level of CDX2 expression. We found that these markers exhibit various functions in different tissues and tumors. Future research investigating the function of the combinatory expression of FOXA1, HOXB13, and CDX2 in localized PC is necessary to gain an in-depth insight into how these transcription factors work together, which may potentially lead to an efficient PC early detection and treatment method.


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