Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Biological Sciences

Content Description

1 online resource (vi, 51 pages) : color illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Melinda Larsen

Committee Members

Morgan Sammons, Prashanth Rangan


acinar, Bioinformatics, differentiation, HOMER, PROMO, salivary gland, Salivary glands, Genetic transcription, Cell differentiation, Sjogren's syndrome

Subject Categories

Cell Biology | Developmental Biology | Molecular Biology


The salivary gland is an organ often taken for granted by most people. However, its proper function is essential for several everyday activities, such as speaking, swallowing, and tasting. As such, impaired salivary gland function, such as that caused by Sjögren’s Syndrome or radiotherapy for head and neck cancers, can lead to a significantly reduced quality of life. The cells that produce saliva in salivary glands are known as acinar cells, which arise from proacinar cells generated during embryonic development. As such, in studying the promoter regions of proacinar and acinar genes, it may be possible to identify common transcription factor binding sites or regulatory motifs that would lead to a better understanding of how salivary gland development and regeneration progresses.