Faculty Advisor

Manning, Amity L.


Function of the retinoblastoma protein, a master cell cycle regulator, is compromised in the majority of cancers. Loss of pRB is known to promote DNA damage during interphase, but its impact during mitosis remains unclear. My work demonstrates a novel role for pRB such that its loss promotes high levels of DNA damage in mitotic cells, without compromising the G2/M DNA damage checkpoint. Instead, pRB-deficient cells acquire new damage during mitosis. More specifically, in pRB-deficient cells yH2AX DNA damage foci are present during normal mitotic timing, exacerbated in response to prolonged mitotic arrest, and accumulate more quickly in pRB-deficient cells than in control cells. Together this data suggests that pRB functions to protect against DNA damage during mitosis.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2017


Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology