Wednesday, May 6, 2015 -
12:00 to 13:00
Specific location: 
Room 343

GPMLS-BMC Seminar will be Wednesday, 6th May at 12:00 in Room 343 in Læknagarður

Speaker: Dr. Maria Perander, associate professor at the RNA and Molecular Pathology research group, Department of Medical Biology, University of Tromsø, Norway. 

TitleThe long non-coding RNA NEAT1 is upregulated during epithelial-mesenchymal transition and is abnormally expressed in breast cancer  

Short abstract: Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are regulatory transcripts longer than 200 nucleotides, the majority being transcribed from RNA pol II promoters and processed by 5’ capping, polyadenylation, and splicing. Recent publications have described important roles for lncRNAs in the regulation of transcription, splicing, nuclear transport, translation, chromatin organization, and as decoys of proteins and miRNAs. Aberrant expression of many lncRNAs is associated with human diseases including cancer.

NEAT1 (Nuclear Enriched Abundant Transcript 1) is a highly abundant transcript that localizes to and is essential for the formation of specific nuclear bodies called paraspeckles. The function of the paraspeckles is not fully understood, but several studies have demonstrated that the number and sizes increase in response to different cellular stresses. There are two distinct, but overlapping, transcripts of NEAT1 generated by alternative processing of the 3’end, NEAT1.1 of 3.7 kb and NEAT1.2.of 22.3 kb. Recently, it has been demonstrated that NEAT1 can regulate the expression of specific genes by sequestering specific mRNAs and proteins into paraspeckles, or by epigenetic regulation of target gene promoters. NEAT1 is required for mammary gland development and lactation in mice, and high levels of NEAT1 are associated with poor clinical outcome both in breast and prostate cancer.

We have profiled by RNA-sequencing the expression of lncRNAs in MCF10A cells induced to go through epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and in epithelial and mesenchymal human mammary epithelial cells (HMLE). Interestingly, we have found NEAT1 to be upregulated during EMT and found the transcript to be highly expressed in certain subtypes of breast cancer. Here, the impact of NEAT1 in EMT and breast cancer will we discussed.

Biosketch: Maria Perander is a molecular biologist and is working as an associate professor at the RNA and Molecular Pathology research group, Department of Medical Biology, University of Tromsø, Norway. She is the principal investigator of a project where they study regulatory RNAs in breast cancer. The research group hosts a next-generation sequencing facility and has a close connection to the Department of Pathology at the University Hospital of Northern Norway. Before moving into the field of regulatory RNA, Maria Perander has been involved in several projects within cellular signaling and protein kinases, both within basic research and within drug-discovery/bioprospecting activities. 

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