Funded by the Dick Vitale Pediatric Cancer Research Fund
Chromatin is the normal form of our genomes and it is formed by DNA and proteins. Chemical changes of these building-blocks, and the factors that control these epigenetic events play essential roles in maintaining the integrity of cells, tissues, and ultimately entire organisms. Recent advances in genomics have uncovered that chromatin and epigenetic regulators are broadly altered in human diseases, particularly in pediatric cancers. This project focuses on understanding how the chromatin regulator Menin helps decipher the chemical language of chromatin, and how it can control or impair gene expression in childhood leukemia. These studies will improve our fundamental knowledge of how protein complexes come together on chromatin and how obstruction of these processes result in the very devastating development of pediatric blood cancers. We use an interdisciplinary approach to provide mechanistic insights into these important questions. This work will shed light into the biology of how Menin regulates chromatin and gene expression, and will pave the way for the development of novel drugs that target these factors in pediatric blood cancers.