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Special Seminar - Sarah Diermeier

Cold Spring Harbour, USA

Mammary Tumor Associated RNAs (MaTARs) as drivers of tumor growth and metastasis

Biochemistry Seminar Room 231
May. 12, 2017
  • 09:00

Recent genome-wide studies revealed that only 2% of the human genome encodes for proteins while as much as 80% of the genome can be transcribed.   Of these non-coding transcripts, long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) represent an exciting class of novel therapeutic targets to pursue in terms of cancer progression and metastasis.  Recently, we identified 30 potentially oncogenic lncRNAs in breast cancer, termed Mammary Tumor Associated RNAs (MaTARs).  To functionally validate the role of MaTARs, we performed antisense knockdown experiments and observed reduced cell proliferation, invasion and/or organoid branching in a cancer-specific context.  Notably, injection of antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) targeting individual MaTARs into a transgenic mouse model of breast cancer resulted in a significant decrease of tumor growth and/or metastasis.  Ongoing studies are investigating the molecular mechanism by which MaTARs function to impact cancer progression.  Our results suggest that MaTARs are likely important drivers of mammary tumor progression and represent promising new therapeutic targets.