Determining the impact of “jumping genes” on cancer proliferation
Centro de Investigación en Medicina Molecular y Enfermedades Crónicas (CiMUS), Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain
The human genome has the same number of protein-coding genes as a simple worm. Thus, our complexity is explained by the way our genes are regulated. On this point, a significant fraction of our DNA is made up of fragments with the ability to move, so-called “jumping genes” or mobile elements: transposons and retrotransposons.
Retrotransposons can jump from one side of the genome to the other and cause loss of fragments of genetic material and scatter regulatory regions. Earlier studies conclude that retrotransposons are an important source of mutations in cancer, although the functional consequences of their activity are largely unknown.
In this project, the researchers will attempt to determine to what extent this mobilisation of retrotransposons causes changes in the context of the three-dimensional structure of the tumour genome and how this impacts on the function of cancer genes.
Novel mutational mechanisms of somatic retrotransposition in the context of the 3D cancer genome