Alba Jené Thesis

Thesis defence of Alba Jené "Integrative study of the regulatory and epigenomic programs involved in cancer development"

On April 29th at 11:00 at Sala Ramón y Cajal (ground floor) in the PRBB, Alba Jené, member of the Biomedical Genomics group of GRIB (IMIM-UPF) will defend her thesis: "Integrative study of the regulatory and epigenomic programs involved in cancer development"


Cancer has traditionally been regarded as a genetic disease, but recently it is becoming apparent that the deregulation of epigenetic mechanisms greatly contributes to tumour development. At the crossing of genetics and epigenetics lie chromatin regulatory factors (CRFs), which are the focus of intense research due to their potential usefulness in anticancer therapy. In this thesis, I determine the transcriptomic state of normal and tumour cells based on epigenetic and regulatory information, and describe the existence of a global synchronisation of gene expression in which Polycomb regulation arises as one of the two main components. I present an analysis on how the under-expression of Polycomb regulated genes contributes to breast cancer progression and epithelial to mesenchymal transition. Furthermore, I identify this under-expression as a valuable independent prognostic factor. Taking advantage on the wealth of cancer genomics data made available recently, I also evaluate the mutational status of CRFs across many human tumours from different tissues and cancer cell lines, and find that 39 CRFs are potential cancer drivers in at least one tissue, even though most of them are mutated at relatively low frequencies. Finally, I present a resource to visualise and analyse genomic alterations across cancer cell lines in the context of drug sensitivity/resistance and the information on somatic tumour alterations.

Site Information