Understanding how RNA-based mechanisms control genome stability in cancer

Genome stability is paramount to cellular homeostasis throughout the human lifespan. Cells have developed several surveillance mechanisms to protect the genome from mutations and ensure faithful duplication and transmission of the genetic material. Defects in any of these mechanisms leads to genome instability, which drives cancer evolution and contributes to tumour heterogeneity, drug resistance and poor prognosis. Protein-mediated mechanisms controlling genome stability are well described, however, the biological and regulatory function of RNA-based mechanisms in this context, and in particular the contribution of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), is largely unknown. We have recently identified novel lncRNAs linked to chromosome mis-segregation, a process common to different types of cancer. I will focus on two nuclear localised lncRNAs whose expression is altered in cancer, and highlight mechanisms through which these lncRNAs safeguard genome integrity and their relevance to cancer.

16/04/2021 Lovorka Stojic - Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

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