Académie royale de Médecine de Belgique

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Résumé François Fuks, membre associé

CANCER EPIGENETICS IS COMING OF AGE

par François FUKS (Laboratory of Cancer Epigenetics, ULB), membre associé.                  

In the last years, the field of epigenetics has expanded into an essential component of biological and cancer research, with epigenetic alterations being considered a hallmark of cancer. The epigenetic field has recently evolved from a gene-by-gene approach to more global epigenomic strategies, with far-reaching clinical implications for optimal diagnosis and treatment.

One main aim of the Fuks’ lab is to better apprehend epigenetic mechanisms in cancer. We showed for example that DNA methylation and the modifications of histones work hand-in-hand as part of an epigenetic program that integrates gene-silencing networks within the cell.

More recently, we have focused our research on a new field, termed “RNA epigenetics”. Indeed, the emerging and exciting discovery of RNA modifications is completely changing our views about epigenetics. We have recently contributed to better understand the distribution, function and biology of one such novel RNA modification.

A second main interest of our lab is to explore genome-wide epigenetic landscapes in cancer, through the use of high-throughput sequencing technologies. For example, by means of DNA methylation profiling, we have generated large DNA methylation data set for human breast tumour tissues. This study highlighted precise epigenetic portraits in breast cancer, uncovering a key contribution of DNA methylome to the complexity of the disease.

Selected publications :

- Collignon et al., Science Adv. 2018

- Jeschke et al., J. Clin. Invest. 2017

- Van Grembergen et al., Science Adv. 2016

- Delatte B et al., Science. 2016

- Boumahdi et al., Nature. 2014

- Deplus et al., Cell Reports. 2014

- Deplus et al., EMBO J. 2013

- Delatte et al., EMBO J., 2014

- Volkmar et al., EMBO J. 2012

- Dedeurwaerder et al., EMBO Mol. Med. 2011

- Fuks F., Nature. 2010

- Epsztejn-Litman et al., Nature Struct. Mol. Biol. 2008

- Villa et al., Cancer Cell. 2007

- Brenner & Fuks, Dev. Cell. 2007

- Viré et al., Nature. 2006

- Brenner et al., EMBO J. 2005

- Hughes-Davies et al., Cell. 2003

- Di Croce et al., Science. 2002

- Fuks et al., Nature Genetics. 2000