Highly Conserved, Large, Noncoding Transcripts and their Role in the Development of Breast Cancer

Project: Research project

Project Details



The sequencing of the human genome has revealed that the sequences responsible for coding the 20,000 human genes comprise less than 2% of the entire human genome. For many years the noncoding portion of the genome was thought of as junk and not worthy of study. It is only now becoming clear that transcripts that do not code for protein could also play an important role in cancer. We have now identified a whole new class of noncoding transcripts that are highly evolutionarily conserved. We have discovered that a number of these highly conserved large noncoding transcripts have altered expression during the development of breast cancer and that many are also mutated in breast cancer. We therefore propose to characterize several of these noncoding transcripts to determine the role they play in breast cancer development. Our hypothesis is that these noncoding transcripts regulate the expression of numerous genes within the cell. To test this hypothesis, we will knock out the expression of several of these noncoding transcripts in normal breast epithelial cells and then determine what effect this has on these cells. We will also examine the expression of all 20,000 genes before and after knocking out the expression of these transcripts to determine which genes are regulated by these transcripts. This work should begin to reveal the importance of an entire new class of regulatory transcripts that in addition to the genes contributes to the development of breast cancer.

Effective start/end date1/1/0612/31/06


  • U.S. Department of Defense: $111,000.00


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