MD Anderson Events
John H. Blaffer Lecture Series
Date: 2/25/14, 4pm to 5pm
Time: 2/25/14, 4pm to 5pm
Location: Onstead Auditorium, Basic Science Research Building, Floor 3, near Elevator J, (S3.8012)
Facilitator: Nicholas Navin
Speaker Bio: Heritable changes in gene expression can occur without changes in DNA sequence. It has emerged that histones, the basic components organizing a eukaryotic genome into hierarchical chromatin structures, are major carriers of epigenetic information. The variation is largely encoded by numerous and often evolutionarily conserved covalent modifications of histones, including methylation, acetylation, phosphorylation and ubiquitinylation. Through histone modifications, chromatin modification enzymes act either synergistically or antagonistically in regulating transcription, cell cycle progression, DNA damage repair, replication development, and differentiation. Given the fundamental roles of histone modifications in organizing chromatin and maintaining proper gene expression patterns, it is not surprising that mutations in chromatin modifying enzymes are often found in human disease. Our broad objectives are to understand the mechanisms for chromatin modifying enzymes to regulate various cellular processes. Using biochemical approaches and mouse models, we are currently focusing on the regulation of histone H3 lysine 4 methyltransferase MLL and histone acetyltransferase MOF, two enzymes that function coordinately in transcription activation. We are also exploring how disruption of their functions leads to carcinogenesis. Given that MLL deregulation (deletion, amplification and translocation) are found in mix lineage leukemias, a thorough understanding of the mechanism for its action and regulation allows us to develop specific inhibitors as novel chemotherapeutic agents.
Contact: Doris Green - (713) 834-6267 - firstname.lastname@example.org