Unravelling the Role of RNA Epigenetics in Health and Disease.

cancer • RNA epigenetics • high-throughput sequencing

François Fuks is professor at the Université libre de Bruxelles and director of the ULB Cancer Research Centre. His work is dedicated to epigenetics and its role in cancer. Epigenetic alterations are changes in DNA and histones, which do not modify the DNA sequence itself. These epigenetic alterations play a key role in human diseases, such as cancer. DNA and histone modifications have long been considered to be the pillars of epigenetics.However, a brand-new field of research is emerging: RNA epigenetics.

This WELBIO project aims to understand the fundamental principles that underpin RNA epigenetics and its involvement in oncogenesis. The first two years of the project helped identify the target of one of these modifications, hydroxymethylation of RNA, in embryonic stem cells and breast cancer. The next stage of the project will make it possible to continue this work and understand the role of another RNA modification, the methylation of adenosine (m6a), in breast cancer and, more specifically, metastatic progression.

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