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Nicole White, Ph.D.

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Washington University in St. Louis
Funded in Partnership with the American Thoracic Society Foundation
Insight Into How Lung Tumors Grow

We are studying genes involved in the promotion or suppression of the spread of lung cancer (metastasis). Previously we applied a cutting-edge sequencing technology to hundreds of lung cancer patients to discover a novel class of genes called long noncoding RNAs (lncRNA). We identified a lncRNA called LCAL62 that is associated with poor overall patient survival. This gene is also associated with a gene known to suppress lung cancer metastasis called FOXA2. We believe LCAL62 interacts with a protein to regulate FOXA2 and thus protect the cell from becoming cancerous. We will test if LCAL62 expression can alter cancer metastasis in mice. Second, we will explore how LCAL62 interacts with a protein partner to regulate FOXA2 and protect the cell from cancer. Overall, this study will advance our understanding of how tumors metastasize.

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