Oct. 1, 2007 - Sep. 30, 2012Award Number
Center for Produce SafetyInvestigator
Donato Romagnolo, Ph.D.
University of Arizona
Besides genetic changes, epigenetic alterations such as histone and DNA modifications have been proposed to play a key role in the onset of a variety of tumors by inducing stable, heritable changes in gene expression. These changes can occur randomly or in response to the environment. For example, in sporadic breast tumors the BRCA-1 promoter is hypermethylated and the expression of BRCA-1 is reduced in the absence of mutations in the BRCA-1 gene. This suggests that hypermethylation caused by environmental signals could participate in establishing and maintaining heritable modifications of BRCA-1 expression that do not involve mutations. This project examines whether epigenetic events reduce the expression of the tumor suppressor gene, BRCA-1 in breast epithelial cells.