RNA binding proteins and cancer progression
RNA binding proteins (RBPs) orchestrate transcript fate and function. In tumoral cells, changes in gene expression that occur without concomitant gene mutation contribute to tumor development and confer competitive advantage to cancerous cells.
Post-transcriptional gene regulation mastered by RBPs chiefly contributes to these changes. A small number of RBPs have been shown to contribute directly to cancer progression, and the list keeps growing.
Much remains ahead, however, in understanding how RBPs and their regulatory networks contribute to key features of tumor initiation and progression.
In the lab, initial studies with UNR suggest roles for this protein in tumor development. We are interested on how UNR and other conserved RBPs contribute to cancer progression, and are using a combination of high-throughput technologies (iCLIP, transcriptome analysis and ribosome profiling) to address this question.