Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Degree Granting Department
Biology (Cell Biology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology)
Alvaro N. Monteiro, Ph.D.
Javier Cuevas, Ph.D.
Jiandong Chen, Ph.D.
Catherine Phelan, Ph.D.
Allele, Genome Wide Association Studies, Single Nucleotide Polymorphism, Transcription, Zinc Finger Domain
GWAS have identified several chromosomal loci associated with ovarian cancer risk. However, the mechanism underlying these associations remains elusive. We identify candidate functional Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) at the 9p22.2 ovarian cancer susceptibility locus, several of which map to transcriptional regulatory elements active in ovarian cells identified by FAIRE-seq (Formaldehyde assisted isolation of regulatory elements followed by sequencing) and ChIP-seq (Chromatin Immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing) in relevant cell types. Reporter and electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA) determined the extent to which candidate SNPs had allele specific effects. Chromosome conformation capture (3C) reveals a physical association between Basonuclin 2 (BNC2) and SNPs with functional properties. This establishes BNC2 as a major target of four candidate functional SNPs in at least two distinct elements.
BNC2 codes for a putative transcription regulator containing three pairs of zinc finger (ZF) domains. Furthermore, bnc2 mutation in zebrafish leads to developmental defects including dysmorphic ovaries and sterility, clearly implicating this protein in cellular processes associated with ovarian development. We show that BNC2 is a transcriptional regulator with a specific DNA recognition sequence of targets enriched in genes involved in cell communication through DNA binding assays, ChIP-seq, and expression analysis.
This study reveals a comprehensive regulatory landscape at the 9p22.2 locus and indicates that a likely mechanism of susceptibility to ovarian cancer may include multiple allele-specific changes in DNA regulatory elements some of which alter BNC2 expression. This study begins to identify the underlying mechanisms of the 9p22.2 locus association with ovarian cancer and aims to provide data to support advances in care based on one’s genetic composition.
Scholar Commons Citation
Buckley, Melissa, "Functional Analysis of the Ovarian Cancer Susceptibility Locus at 9p22.2 Reveals a Transcription Regulatory Network Mediated by BNC2 in Ovarian Cells" (2015). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.