Date of Submission

5-4-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Forensic Science

Advisor

Alireza G. Senejani, Ph.D.

Keywords

Neuroblastoma Cells, DNA Repair Genes, HEK293 and BE2C cells

MeSH

Lyme Disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, Gene Expression, Neuroblastoma, DNA Repair Enzymes, MutL Protein Homolog 1, HEK293 Cells, Polymerase chain reaction, Neoplasms

LCSH

Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, Gene expression, Neuroblastoma, DNA repair, Polymerase chain reaction, Cancer cells, Cancer genes

Abstract

Lyme Disease affects around 300 thousand Americans every year. It is mainly caused by the bacterial spirochete B. burgdorferi. Lyme Disease is not only a prominent health risk in itself, but it is also associated with various aggressive forms of cancer. Studies have shown that mice which are injected with live strains of B. burgdorferi develop cancers of the lymphatic system. However, there is still not much research done on Lyme Disease and its association with other cancers such as neuroblastoma. This study focuses on the possible connection between B. burgdorferi infection and the development of neuroblastoma cancer by analyzing the expression of cancer associated DNA repair genes, AID, MGMT, and MLH1 in HEK293 and BE2C cells. Gene expression is measured in this study by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The results of this study suggest that the expression of AID, MGMT, and MLH1 all increase in infected BE2C cells. However, the expression of these genes vary in infected HEK293 cells. The findings of this study imply that B. burgdorferi infection induces mutations in BE2C neuroblastoma cells, which may lead to altered cell division and tumor growth

Available for download on Sunday, May 10, 2026

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