Notch Regulation of the Tumor Supressor miR-145 in Breast Cancer Cells
Tumor suppressors are protective genes that normally function to inhibit cancer. Recently, a class of genes encoding small RNA molecules, called microRNAs, have been shown to regulate tumor growth. When levels of a tumor suppressor are decreased, cells are more susceptible to becoming cancer. Dr. Liaw’s project focuses on one microRNA, miR-145, which is typically suppressed during cancer. The goal of this project is to understand what activates miR-145 in human breast cancer cells. Dr. Liaw’s research team identified an upstream signaling regulator, called the Notch pathway. Their aim is to understand how Notch activates miR-145 and therefore potentially restore its tumor suppressive activity to inhibit breast cancer growth.