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Publication Date


First Advisor

Sarah J. Moore

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Biological Sciences


Immunotherapy, Protein conjugation, Therapeutics, Mesothelin, Antigen, Hepatitis B


Fifteen to twenty percent of breast cancers are triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). This cancer is the most aggressive type of breast cancer, yet there are no targeted treatment options for patients due to the absence of three common breast cancer receptors: estrogen, progesterone, and HER2. In this study, we look to create a novel immunotherapy that takes advantage of mesothelin (MSLN), a glycoprotein that is overexpressed on 67% of TNBC. Through directed evolution and yeast surface display (YSD), the Moore lab has previously engineered a set of proteins that selectively bind to MSLN. For this study, we look to further develop these engineered anti-MSLN proteins into a TNBC vaccine through direct conjugation of the anti-MSLN protein to an antigen that the immune system will recognize. I have chosen a viral surface antigen and used computational modeling and recombinant DNA methods to design and construct a fusion protein composed of the antigen and the anti-MSLN protein. We developed a method to express the anti-MSLN-antigen fusion protein in vitro. In future work, we will create an assay to test the immunogenicity of the fusion protein. This project explores a novel immunotherapeutic approach with encouraging clinical applications.


©2021 Yacine Diama Fall.




68 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) Includes bibliographical references (pages 63-68)