Our program project is a thematically and operationally integrated multidisciplinary approach to experimentally address components of nuclear organization that are functionally linked to modified transcriptional control in transformed and tumor cells. Our working hypothesis is that parameters of nuclear architecture support cell growth and phenotypic properties of normal and tumor cells by facilitating the organization of chromosomes, genes and regulatory complexes as dynamic, three-dimensional microenvironments within the nucleus. In a highly collaborative setting, this program project has been instrumental in establishing paradigm-shifting insights into: 1) mitotic retention of transcription factors at gene loci for epigenetic control of cell fate;2) requirements for fidelity of nuclear organization to support integration of regulatory pathways and networks;3) relationships of chromatin structure and remodeling to mammary epithelial cell morphology;4) obligatory nuclear structure-function relations in leukemia and breast cancer;and 5) contributions of regulatory protein subnuclear targeting for control of osteolysis by metastatic breast tumors. In the renewal application we will functionally define novel dimensions to regulatory mechanisms that relate nuclear structure to gene expression and to changes in nuclear architecture to aberrant growth of tumor cells. Our emphasis will be on impaired subnuclear organization and assembly of regulatory machinery in nuclear microenvironments of metastatic breast cancer and leukemia cells in which biological control is compromised. Cellular, molecular, biochemical, in vivo genetic, microscopic, genomic and proteomic strategies will be pursued to address mechanisms mediating nuclear structure-gene expression interrelationships. The program focuses on: subnuclear targeting and architectural epigenetics in cancer cells (Project 1);linkage of chromatin remodeling-mediated gene regulation with parameters of nuclear organization and breast tumorigenesis (Project 2);and organization of transcriptional complexes in nuclear microenvironments to mediate metastatic bone disease (Project 3).

Public Health Relevance

The program will link molecular mechanisms by which nuclear structure ensures fidelity of biological control and deregulation of parameters of nuclear architecture to disease progression in cancer. We will define novel components of nuclear organization that can be targeted for innovative cancer therapies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Program Projects (P01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-RPRB-0 (O1))
Program Officer
Knowlton, John R
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester
Anatomy/Cell Biology
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Barutcu, A Rasim; Hong, Deli; Lajoie, Bryan R et al. (2016) RUNX1 contributes to higher-order chromatin organization and gene regulation in breast cancer cells. Biochim Biophys Acta 1859:1389-1397
Varela, Nelson; Aranguiz, Alejandra; Lizama, Carlos et al. (2016) Mitotic Inheritance of mRNA Facilitates Translational Activation of the Osteogenic-Lineage Commitment Factor Runx2 in Progeny of Osteoblastic Cells. J Cell Physiol 231:1001-14
Zaidi, Sayyed K; Boyd, Joseph R; Grandy, Rodrigo A et al. (2016) Expression of Ribosomal RNA and Protein Genes in Human Embryonic Stem Cells Is Associated With the Activating H3K4me3 Histone Mark. J Cell Physiol 231:2007-13
Barutcu, A Rasim; Lajoie, Bryan R; Fritz, Andrew J et al. (2016) SMARCA4 regulates gene expression and higher-order chromatin structure in proliferating mammary epithelial cells. Genome Res 26:1188-201
VanOudenhove, Jennifer J; Medina, Ricardo; Ghule, Prachi N et al. (2016) Transient RUNX1 Expression during Early Mesendodermal Differentiation of hESCs Promotes Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition through TGFB2 Signaling. Stem Cell Reports 7:884-896
Wu, Qiong; Madany, Pasil; Dobson, Jason R et al. (2016) The BRG1 chromatin remodeling enzyme links cancer cell metabolism and proliferation. Oncotarget 7:38270-38281
Taipaleenmäki, Hanna; Farina, Nicholas H; van Wijnen, Andre J et al. (2016) Antagonizing miR-218-5p attenuates Wnt signaling and reduces metastatic bone disease of triple negative breast cancer cells. Oncotarget :
VanOudenhove, Jennifer J; Grandy, Rodrigo A; Ghule, Prachi N et al. (2016) Unique Regulatory Mechanisms for the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Cycle. J Cell Physiol :
Barutcu, A Rasim; Fritz, Andrew J; Zaidi, Sayyed K et al. (2016) C-ing the Genome: A Compendium of Chromosome Conformation Capture Methods to Study Higher-Order Chromatin Organization. J Cell Physiol 231:31-5
Wu, Qiong; Sharma, Soni; Cui, Hang et al. (2016) Targeting the chromatin remodeling enzyme BRG1 increases the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs in breast cancer cells. Oncotarget 7:27158-75

Showing the most recent 10 out of 189 publications