Chromatin-Modifying Factors in Zebrafish Models of Rhabdomyosarcoma and Hematopoiesis
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CitationAlbacker, Colleen Elizabeth. 2012. Chromatin-Modifying Factors in Zebrafish Models of Rhabdomyosarcoma and Hematopoiesis. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
AbstractEpigenetics, or the reversible and heritable marks of gene regulation not including DNA sequence, encompasses modifications on both the DNA and histones and is as important as the DNA sequence itself. Gene transcription, DNA repair, DNA replication, and the cell cycle are each impacted by the chromatin structure. A variety of enzymes modulate these modifications, and a suite of factors interacts with them to aid in promoting or inhibiting cellular functions. Many of these chromatin-modifying factors are deregulated in cancer, making them novel therapeutic targets. This dissertation describes the identification of an H3K9 histone methyltransferase, SUV39H1, as a suppressor of rhabdomyosarcoma formation in zebrafish. This suppressor is dependent on the methyltransferase domain of the enzyme, ruling out any scaffold effects since this enzyme is a part of a multiprotein complex. SUV39H1-overexpressing and control tumors share many of the same characteristics, including proliferation rate, muscle differentiation state, and tumor growth rate. The tumor suppressive phenotype cannot be rescued by alterations in the downstream muscle program alone. However, SUV39H1-overexpressing fish initiate fewer tumors, which results in the observed suppressive phenotype. This initiation defect occurs between 5 and 7 days of life in the zebrafish, likely by impacting cyclin B1 expression. This dissertation also describes the development of a novel F1 transgenic screening strategy in the zebrafish. This approach was utilized to screen a variety of chromatin-modifying factors for their effects on hematopoietic development. The developed strategy will have future applications as a zebrafish screening tool. Our data suggest that chromatin-modifying factors play an important role in rhabdomyosarcoma and illustrate the use of the zebrafish in discovering genes involved in tumorigenesis and hematopoiesis.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:10086322
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