Cloning MicroRNAs with Somatic Mutations in Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (pRL-CMV-6X-CXCR4)
Akinwande, Oluwapelumi E.
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The laboratory of Dr. Plon at Baylor College of Medicine focuses on deciphering the genetic basis of pediatric cancers. The most common childhood cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), is a type of blood cancer and according to National Cancer Institute, there are approximately 41 cases per 1 million children in the US. In addition to studying mutations that alter protein-coding regions, the lab also focuses on identifying mutations in microRNAs that can lead to pediatric ALL. miRNAs are short (~22 bases) non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression. Limited studies have described role of miRNA in human diseases but mutations has been shown to interrupt this pathway which could lead to diseases. DNA sequencing, is used in research labs for the identification of cancer mutations. This project was completed with contributions from Sharon Plon from the Molecular and Human Genetics, Texas Children’s Cancer Center.