Date of Completion


Thesis Type

College of Arts and Science Honors



First Advisor

Jonathan Boyson

Second Advisor

Lori Stevens


butyrophilins, lung adenocarcinoma, gamma delta T cells, KRAS mutation


Butyrophilins are a part of the immunoglobulin superfamily of transmembrane proteins that bind to undefined receptors on T cells. This binding produces a stimulatory or inhibitory signal. Some butyrophilins have been shown to bind to γδ T cell receptors resulting in γδ T cell activation. γδ T cells exhibit important roles in cancer, but their function is still unclear. We used an inducible murine lung adenocarcinoma model to determine changes in butyrophilin expression relative to healthy murine lungs. A baseline of butyrophilin expression level and pattern was established across different tissues. In the lung cancer model, Btnl2 showed upregulation compared to healthy control lungs. After sorting leukocytes and epithelial cells from the cancerous lung, it appears that the leukocytes may be responsible for this change in gene expression. Butyrophilin gene expression changes in response to another form of inflammation, PR8 influenza, were different than the changes seen in the lung adenocarcinoma model. This finding promotes the idea that butyrophilins differentially bind to specific immune cells. Determining the location and binding affinities of butyrophilins could direct research in new immunotherapies for cancer and other diseases.