Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

Dennis Peffley, PdH

Second Advisor

Harold Komiskey, PhD

Third Advisor

Xinyu Wang, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Richard White, PhD


Prostate cancer is the abnormal growth and proliferation of previously normal cells of the prostate and has the second highest incidence in men worldwide. Physiologic manipulation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a highly conserved enzyme responsible for regulation of energy homeostasis during metabolic stress, is a potential treatment, especially for metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancers. AMPK is a known inhibitor of the enzyme mTOR, the final enzyme in the PKT/AKT/mTOR pathway responsible for cell growth and proliferation signaling. The hypothesis of this project is that activation of AMPK leads to increased mTOR-dependent mitophagy and subsequent autophagy in prostate cancer cells. The overall aim of this project is to establish a role between activated AMPK and mTOR dependent mitophagy and autophagy. Although preliminary data remains inconclusive, future research is promising.