SELECTIVE PRESSURE AND DIFFERENTIAL BINDING OF MIRNAS IN PTEN AND PTENP1

picture of John Chase presenting his/her poster: SELECTIVE PRESSURE AND DIFFERENTIAL BINDING OF MIRNAS IN PTEN AND PTENP1

John Chase , Jason Wilder

SELECTIVE PRESSURE AND DIFFERENTIAL BINDING OF MIRNAS IN PTEN AND PTENP1

The human PTEN gene encodes a tumor suppressor protein. Decreased expression

of this protein is associated with several forms of cancer. PTEN is regulated in part

by microRNAs, which bind to the 3’ untranslated region of the transcript. Therefore

an increase in the presence of miRNAs can lead to a decrease in the expression of

PTEN. A compounding factor in this relationship is the existence of a pseudogene,

PTENP1. While PTENP1 does not code for any proteins it does bind miRNAs, which

leads to a decrease in miRNAs that are able to bind with PTEN. This suggests

PTENP1 is potentially a functional gene, despite not coding for a protein product.

Here I look at the evolutionary relationship between PTEN and PTENP1 using

computer based algorithms to determine the potential miRNA binding sites in both

PTEN andPTENP1. Sequence variation is also compared across species in order to

determine the selective pressure that each gene is under, using various statistical

tests. This work will help to clarify the role of PTENP1 as a functional gene as well as

to determine how selection affects miRNA binding sites. Understanding the recent

evolution of these genes will help our understanding of the role of cancer in exerting

a selective pressure and our understanding of genotypes that determine cancer risk.

 

Funding is through the NACP

NIH grant numbers: U54CA143924 and U54CA143925

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