Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"Impact of the CDS1 gene in breast cancer "

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Fall 2011 - DURI
Research area(s):
Cell biology, pathology, epigenetics
Project Description:
Stagnant and even increasing incidence in breast cancer can only be fought by developing primary prevention medicine. Identifying the early mechanisms by which healthy breast tissue changes towards a malignant phenotype is the main goal of our current research that serves our primary prevention mission. With the help of a state of the art 3D cell culture models we have identified critical genes that change expression during the loss of breast glandular differentiation necessary for tumor development. The gene CDS1 coding for the CDP-diacylglycerol synthase is one of these genes that not only changes expression in our cell culture model, but also in normal looking tissue from breast cancer patients that shows loss of differentiation. The loss of CDS1 expression increases into the most aggressive forms of cancer as seen by protein expression analysis in human cancer tissues and several cancer cell lines. In collaboration with biophysicist Dr. Irudayaraj, we propose to look at the epigenetic mechanisms by which CDS1 transcription is controlled. We will investigate potential sites for CDS1 promoter methylation and use single molecule analysis in live cells to identify histone modifications in the CDS1 promoter that could explain changes in gene expression.
Expected Student Contributions:
The intern will work with a graduate students on specific aspects related to CDS1 and also chromatin organization and tissue polarity in general. She/he will be trained to design, perform and analyze experiments and will have the possibility to present at local meetings.
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
Those required by DURI
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?
Yes, 3 credit hours

Professor in Charge

Lelievre, Sophie
basic medical sciences

Student Supervisor

Sophie Lelievre
Associate Professor

Cooperating Faculty

Joseph Irudayaraj
Agricultural & Biological Engineering/Agriculture