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PhD ceremony Ms. F. Falahi: Epigenetic editing as a novel approach to modulate expression of key genes in cancer

When:We 16-04-2014 at 12:45
Where:Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

PhD ceremony: Ms. F. Falahi

Dissertation: Epigenetic editing as a novel approach to modulate expression of key genes in cancer

Promotor(s): prof. M.G. Rots, prof. G.A.P. Hospers

Faculty: Medical Sciences

The focus of this thesis is on developing a targeted approach to write or erase epigenetic modifications onto a gene of interest (Epigenetic Editing) to modulate its expression. An Epigenetic Editing tool consists of a DNA binding domain (DBD) linked to a catalytic domain of epigenetic enzymes.

Using Epigenetic Editing, inactive epigenetic modifications were written on over-expressed genes in cancer, which were associated with their down-regulation and cell growth inhibition. A tumour suppressor gene was up-regulated using an artificial transcription factor (composed of a DBD fused to a transcription activator domain) in cancer cells and apoptosis was induced in the treated cells. Since aberrant epigenetic modifications are associated with cancer, the role of epigenetics in breast cancer and the potential epigenetic-therapies were intensively investigated and reviewed in this thesis.

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