Thursday, August 5 2021
17:00 - 18:30

IMSc Webinar

Uncovering Epigenetic, Transcriptional and Co-transcriptional Regulatory Programs in Cancer

Irtisha Singh

Texas A&M University

The precision with which different molecular processes are regulated at various stages of development is
extraordinary. Evolution has established different levels of regulation to acquire and maintain desired cell state.
The expressed genes in a cell define its fate. The epigenetic state, transcriptional and post-transcriptional
programs are crucial regulators of gene expression levels. To develop next-generation of therapeutics, an
understanding of the complex transcriptional, co-transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms driving cell
fate are required. Firstly, I will demonstrate how in absence of genetic mutations cancer cells hijack the molecular
machinery to dysregulate co-transcriptional RNA processing for driving tumorigenesis. We found intronic
polyadenylation as a novel mechanism for functional inactivation of tumor suppressor genes. Secondly, I will
discuss the role of epigenetics in altered gene expression program to support growth and differentiation of cancer
stem cells. Changes in the epigenome can lead to acquisition of large clusters of active enhancers, also referred
as “super-enhancers”. Super-enhancers are in the proximity of oncogenes resulting in multi-fold increase of their
expression levels. Many of these super-enhancers drive expression of transcription factors which in turn can
directly regulate the expression of other oncogenes. We found existence of distinct super-enhancer states in
cancer stem cell drives distinct tumor subtypes. I will also discuss the ongoing work and the future direction in
the laboratory.

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Meeting ID: 973 4522 4277
Passcode: 997269

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