RNA Translation in Breast Cancer
RNA processing has emerged as a critical regulatory step in initiation and progression of cancer, with alterations in RNA transcription, splicing, and translation identified in nearly all cancer types. In particular, alterations in the rate of translation of mRNAs into proteins is a particularly complex yet commonly dysregulated aspect of RNA processing in tumorigenesis, as cancer cells show alterations in both global translation rates as well as differential translation of specific mRNA subsets that drive tumor genesis, progression, and metastasis. However, our understanding of how RBPs can dysregulate RNA translation and contribute to tumorigenesis and progression remains fragmented due to technologic limitations that impede systematic RBP characterizations.
To create the first global map of the landscape of RBPs that drive aberrant translation during emergence and metastasis of breast cancer, we will develop novel integrative approaches to map RNA processing regulatory networks and predict key functional nodes that drive altered translation and tumor phenotypes. In addition to insights into potential therapeutic targets in breast cancer, our development of new techniques and coupled bioinformatic tools will provide a framework for future research into other types of cancer that often share similar aberrations in RNA processing.