Epigenetic & Epi-Transcriptomic Reprogramming Description:

Epigenetic alterations, which are chemical modifications to the genome that do not alter base composition, have emerged as powerful mechanisms to better understand, diagnose, classify and treat cancer.

Researchers working in the cancer epigenetics lab
  • Epigenetic studies in cancer have traditionally focused on DNA methylation at the gene promoter region. Beyond epigenetic alterations of the gene promoter region, our laboratory is exploring transcriptional factors binding proximal and distal gene regulatory elements named enhancers, insulators, and silencer elements by integrating multiple layers of epigenetic and gene expression profiles.
  • As a consequence of the different epigenetic programs, the gene expression profiles (transcriptomes) are inherent to each cancer type and are also dynamically adapted during cancer progression to metastasis and drug resistance.
  • Recently, new chemical modifications to the messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules have been found to affect post-translational biology. The collection of these modifications have been termed “epi-transcriptome”. Variations on the mRNA modifications have been shown to have downstream effects not only on the expression dynamics of the focal gene, but also on larger gene interaction networks thereby magnifying the phenotypic impact of these modifications. Presently, little to none is known about how epi-transcriptomic modifications influence the biology of tumors, particularly alterations with clinical importance.