Ongoing Project

microRNAs in Breast Cancer

microRNAs in Breast Cancer

microRNAs regulate cell fate through target gene down-regulation. We have uncovered microRNAs altered by epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and in triple-negative breast cancer subtypes. Through a collaboration with leading nanoparticle researchers, we are developing and testing microRNA transfer and replacement technologies.

MicroRNA-203 Reverses EMT and Blocks Metastasis

MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs, transcribed from the genome, which have the capacity to regulate hundreds of other transcripts by base-pair binding of a 21 nucleotide sequence to a matching sequence on their target. We have demonstrated that microRNA-203 (miR-203) is strongly repressed by EMT. Re-expression of this microRNA in cells which have undergone EMT reverts them to an epithelial phenotpye, decreases their migratory capacity and prevents metastasis (Taube et al. 2013). We are working to characterize the downstream effectors regulated by miR-203 and the potential utility of elevating miR-203 expression in primary tumors.

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