Honors Program

University Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Dr. Douglas Thewke

Thesis Professor Department

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Thesis Reader(s)

Dr. David Johnson, Dr. Anthony Rusinol


Atherosclerosis, characterized by the build-up of cholesterol, immune cells and cellular debris within arterial walls, is accelerated following myocardial infarction by poorly understood mechanisms. Ubiquitin, a small, well-studied intracellular protein involved in protein turnover via the proteasome pathway, has recently been shown to exert extracellular effects on cardiac myocytes, in vitro, and in mice undergoing myocardial remodeling. This study investigates the potential role of extracellular ubiquitin in atherosclerosis by determining its effects on two critical atherosclerotic processes: the migration of vascular smooth muscles cells and the uptake of modified LDL by monocyte/macrophages in foam cell formation. In the presence of ubiquitin, smooth muscle cell migration was accelerated and foam cell formation was enhanced, suggesting that ubiquitin has an active role in atherosclerosis.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Withheld

Creative Commons License

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