Epigenetics and Phosphorylation
Epigenetic is a term used to describe changes in gene expression that are stable between cell divisions. Chromatin modifying enzymes including lysine acetytransferases (KATs), histone deacetylases (HDACs), histone kinases, histone phosphatases, lysine/arginine methyltransferases, lysine/arginine demethylases, ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes and DNA methyltransferases mediate chromatin remodeling and are components of a complex epigenetic network regulating gene expression during development, differentiation and disease. Multistep tumourigenesis is a progression of events resulting from alterations in the processing of the genetic information. These alterations result from stable genetic changes (mutations) in tumour suppressor genes and oncogenes (e.g. RAS) and potentially reversible epigenetic changes. DNA methylation and histone post-translational modifications (PTMs) are two epigenetic mechanisms that are altered in cancer cells.
Dr. Davie's research program has three research themes designed to understand the roles of epigenetic programming and nuclear structure in gene expression in normal and cancer cells:
i) to characterize histone PTMs and chromatin modifying enzymes associated with
transcribed chromatin in normal and cancer cells;
ii) to investigate the mechanisms by which signal transduction pathways control chromatin
iii) to explore the organization of chromatin in the nucleus of normal and cancer cells.