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Research interests

Breast cancer genomes are known to undergo extensive epigenetic modification early on during tumorigenesis, including both DNA hyper- and hypomethylation. While hypermethylation has been extensively studied, detailed analysis of hypomethylation, which primarily occurs at repetitive DNA in cancer, has been difficult to study due to technological limitations. We are developing new genome-wide experimental and computational tools to understand hyper- and hypomethylation events in breast cancer and how these changes remodel the transcriptome. In particular, we are asking which regions in and near a gene promoter enforce transcriptional silencing when methylated and how hypomethylation of normally silent promoter sequences contained within repetitive DNA can activate nearby genes. We are examining how these changes correlate with clinical data, such as response to endocrine therapy and survival. In addition, we are using these results to suggest mechanistic links between hypomethylation and genomic instability, which are frequently correlated in breast cancer.

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Research Output

  • Methylation-directed glycosylation of chromatin factors represses retrotransposon promoters

    Boulard, M., Rucli, S., Rucli, S., Edwards, J. R. & Bestor, T. H., Jun 23 2020, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 117, 25, p. 14292-14298 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 1 Scopus citations

    ME-Class2 reveals context dependent regulatory roles for 5-hydroxymethylcytosine

    Schlosberg, C. E., Wu, D. Y., Gabel, H. W. & Edwards, J. R., Mar 18 2019, In : Nucleic acids research. 47, 5, e28.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 1 Scopus citations

    A functional genomic screen in vivo identifies CEACAM5 as a clinically relevant driver of breast cancer metastasis

    Powell, E., Shao, J., Picon, H. M., Bristow, C., Ge, Z., Peoples, M., Robinson, F., Jeter-Jones, S. L., Schlosberg, C., Grzeskowiak, C. L., Yang, F., Wu, Y., Wistuba, I., Moulder, S. L., Symmans, W. F., Scott, K. L., Edwards, J. R., Liang, H., Heffernan, T. P. & Piwnica-Worms, H., Dec 1 2018, In : npj Breast Cancer. 4, 1, 9.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 6 Scopus citations

    DNA Methylation and Regulatory Elements during Chicken Germline Stem Cell Differentiation

    He, Y., Zuo, Q., Edwards, J., Zhao, K., Lei, J., Cai, W., Nie, Q., Li, B. & Song, J., Jun 5 2018, In : Stem Cell Reports. 10, 6, p. 1793-1806 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 5 Scopus citations