In this webinar Dr. Adriana Zingone from the National Cancer Institute, Center for Cancer Research discusses her team’s work to characterize Alternative polyadenylation (APA) in the lung cancer transcriptome and to test a hypothesis that smoking modulates differential usage of polyadenylation sites within mRNA transcripts.
APA involves the selection of an alternate poly(A) site (PAS) on the pre-mRNA that leads to generation of isoforms of various length. In cancer, APA is emerging as an alternative mechanism for proto-oncogene activation in the absence of somatic mutations. Global shortening of 3’UTR seems to be a hallmark of many types of cancer. Recent studies show a correlation of APA profiles with cancer prognosis, suggesting that APA is an important mechanism of cancer progression. In addition, environmental exposures such as temperature and exogenous hormones can also induce APA as a stress-response mechanism.
In our study, we aimed to characterize the landscape of APA in the lung cancer transcriptome, and also to investigate differences in APA between European Americans (EA) and African Americans (AA). As smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, we hypothesize that smoking modulates differential usage of PAS within mRNA transcripts.