Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)




College of Science

First Advisor

Esther Guzman


Pancreatic cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, with that number increasing each year. New drugs need to be developed to treat this disease. One source of new drugs is marine natural products. Two compounds—HB-131 and HB-018—were tested for potential anti-cancer properties. Pancreatic cancer cells were exposed to these compounds for six hours and the conditioned media from this treatment was used to further our understanding of the effects of these compounds. A western blot was used to determine matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression, while a zymogram was used to determine MMP activity. A sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) array was used to determine the effects of these compounds in 15 different cytokines. HB-131 did not inhibit any of the cytokines tested, which suggests that its inhibition of CCL-2 is specific and not caused by inhibiting protein synthesis. In addition to inhibiting degranulation, HB-018 appeared to downregulate the inflammatory cytokine IL-23, while upregulating the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. HB-131 and HB-018 lowered MMP-2 activity, which might translate to lower metastatic activity. From these findings, HB-131 and HB-018 are one step closer to making it to clinical trials.