Long noncoding RNA, Gene Regulation and Cancer

One of the most remarkable scientific discoveries of the last decade came about thanks to the sequencing of the entire human transcriptome. It is now obvious that the majority of the cellular transcripts are produced from “non conventional” genes that do not code for proteins, and a very significant fraction of them are long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). Our group and others have shown that lncRNAs, despite not coding for proteins, regulate genome functions and gene expression, and that alterations in lncRNAs are inherent to human disease. For instance, we have found that lncRNAs have critical functions associated with tumor suppressors or oncogenes, such as p53 or MYC, playing key roles in cell transformation. However, our understanding of lncRNA functions and the underlying molecular mechanism are still extremely poor.

Our group focuses its efforts on investigating how lncRNAs influence the regulation, propagation and expression of the genome, and how these functions are altered in cancer, which is key for the development of improved diagnostics and therapies. To that end, we combine the implementation of genomics and epigenomics techniques, molecular biology as well as the analysis of patient samples.

Do you want to join our team?

We are searching for talented and highly motivated lab technicians, students and postdocs to work with us. If you are interested please contact Maite Huarte maitehuarte@unav.es

Selected Bibliography:

  • Marchese FP, Raimondi I, Huarte M.(2017) The multidimensional mechanisms of long noncoding RNA function. Genome Biol. 2017 Oct 31;18(1):206
  • Marín-Béjar O, Mas AM, González J, Martinez D, Athie A, Morales X, Galduroz M, Raimondi I, Grossi E, Guo S, Rouzaut A, Ulitsky I, Huarte M. (2017) The human lncRNA LINC-PINT inhibits tumor cell invasion through a highly conserved sequence element. Genome Biol. Oct 27;18(1):202
  • Marchese FP, Grossi E, Marín-Béjar O, Bharti SK, Raimondi I, González J, Martínez-Herrera DJ, Athie A, Amadoz A, Brosh RM and Huarte M (2016). A lncRNA regulates sister chromatid cohesion. Mol Cell. Aug 4;63(3):397-407.
  • Huarte M (2015) The emerging roles of lncRNAs in cancer. Nat Med. 2015 Nov;21(11):1253-61
  • Sánchez Y, Segura V, Marín-Béjar O, Athie A, Marchese FP, González J, Bujanda L, Guo S, Matheu A and Huarte M (2014). Genome-wide analysis of the human p53 transcriptional network unveils a lncRNA tumor suppressor signature. Nature Communications, 5:5812.
  • Marin-Bejar O, Marchese FP, Athie A, Sanchez Y, Gonzalez J, Segura V, Huang L, Moreno I, Navarro A, Monzo M, Garcia-Foncillas J, Rinn JL, Guo S, Huarte M (2013). Pint lincRNA connects the p53 pathway with epigenetic silencing by the Polycomb repressive complex 2. Genome Biol 14, R104.
  • Huarte, M*, Guttman, M., Feldser, D., Garber, M., Khalil, A.M., Zuk, O., Amit, I., Regev, A., Lander, E.S., Jacks, T., Rinn, J.L*. (2010). A large intergenic noncoding RNA induced by p53 mediates global gene repression in the p53 response. Cell 142, 409-419.           

*Corresponding author

"We are investigating how lncRNA contributes to the mechanisms that regulate gene expression in cancer cells", Dra. Maite Huarte, Principal Investigator.


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