As the average age of the population in many countries, including Brazil, is steadily increasing, it is estimated that cancer will become one of the most common causes of death in this century. This project aims to contribute to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis, especially in cases of acute myeloid leukemia where translocations in chromosome 11, band q23, in abnormal cells of the hematopoietic system are frequently observed. A particular group of these translocations involve the MLL and ELL genes [t (11; 19) (q23; p13,1)] which, in fusion, may lead to the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells. The primary objective of this project will be to determine the structure of ELL and correlate this result with their respective cell normal functions. Once this goal is reached, a new perspective opens up to further determine how fusion is capable of causing cancer. In parallel, we intend to analyze a group of genes identified in tumor bone marrow SNP databases, correlating them structurally and functionally with the increased chance of developing cancer. The SNP database is the resulting effort initiated by the Fapesp-funded Clinical Cancer Genome project.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: