Role of Ribosomal Protein Ubiquitination in Chemotherapy- and Stress-induced RNA disruption in Tumour Cells

We have observed that chemotherapy agents can induce RNA degradation in tumour cells, a phenomenon called “RNA disruption”. Interestingly, we also found that high tumour RNA disruption after 2-3 cycles of chemotherapy predicts for complete tumour destruction after treatment and improved cancer patient survival. We and Rna Diagnostics, Inc. are using this knowledge to identify patients with non-responding tumours early in treatment, who might benefit from discontinuing chemotherapy (and its side effects) and moving on to alternate treatments. We now seek to identify earlier events in the RNA disruption process in order to accelerate our ability to predict chemotherapy outcome. The student will examine whether ubiquitination of ribosomal proteins and the activation of two key RNA degradation pathways precedes and are necessary for chemotherapy-dependent RNA disruption.

Sreepriya Pk
Faculty Supervisor: 
Tom Kovala
Partner University: