Dynamic alternative polyadenylation (APA) events in mammary gland development

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biology, Turkey

Approval Date: 2016




Mammary gland is a dynamic organ that undergoes dramatic changes in response to age, circulating hormones and reproductive status. The extensive growth, regeneration and remodelling abilities of the mammary gland is of specific interest to better understand the molecular mechanisms deregulated in breast cancers. To this end, we hypothesized alternative polyadenylation (APA) as a mechanism that generates mRNA isoforms with different lengths, to be dynamically regulated at different stages of mammary development. APA is known to be regulated in a tissue and developmental stage specific manner and is linked to mRNA 3’UTR isoform variability, which may result in altered protein levels and/or functions. We used a combinatorial in silico and in vitro approach and delineated a dynamic pattern of APA in gestation, lactation and involution stages. Experimental confirmation of 3’UTR isoforms indeed provided preliminary data for future studies to provide a possible link between mammary tissue development, APA and breast cancer.