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Hackett J.A.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute
Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences | Year: 2013

DNA methylation is dynamically remodelled during the mammalian life cycle through distinct phases of reprogramming and de novo methylation. These events enable the acquisition of cellular potential followed by the maintenance of lineage-restricted cell identity, respectively, a process that defines the life cycle through successive generations. DNA methylation contributes to the epigenetic regulation of many key developmental processes including genomic imprinting, X-inactivation, genome stability and gene regulation. Emerging sequencing technologies have led to recent insights into the dynamic distribution of DNA methylation during development and the role of this epigenetic mark within distinct genomic contexts, such as at promoters, exons or imprinted control regions. Additionally, there is a better understanding of the mechanistic basis of DNA demethylation during epigenetic reprogramming in primordial germ cells and during pre-implantation development. Here, we discuss our current understanding of the developmental roles and dynamics of this key epigenetic system.


Worboys J.D.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute
Nature Methods | Year: 2014

In targeted proteomics it is critical that peptides are not only proteotypic but also accurately represent the level of the protein (quantotypic). Numerous approaches are used to identify proteotypic peptides, but quantotypic properties are rarely assessed. We show that measuring ratios of proteotypic peptides across biological samples can be used to empirically identify peptides with good quantotypic properties. We applied this technique to identify quantotypic peptides for 21% of the human kinome.


Huertas P.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute
Nature structural & molecular biology | Year: 2010

DNA double-strand breaks are repaired by different mechanisms, including homologous recombination and nonhomologous end-joining. DNA-end resection, the first step in recombination, is a key step that contributes to the choice of DSB repair. Resection, an evolutionarily conserved process that generates single-stranded DNA, is linked to checkpoint activation and is critical for survival. Failure to regulate and execute this process results in defective recombination and can contribute to human disease. Here I review recent findings on the mechanisms of resection in eukaryotes, from yeast to vertebrates, provide insights into the regulatory strategies that control it, and highlight the consequences of both its impairment and its deregulation.


Wakefield L.M.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Hill C.S.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute
Nature Reviews Cancer | Year: 2013

Much of the focus on the transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) superfamily in cancer has revolved around the TGFβ ligands themselves. However, it is now becoming apparent that deregulated signalling by many of the other superfamily members also has crucial roles in both the development of tumours and metastasis. Furthermore, these signalling pathways are emerging as plausible therapeutic targets. Their roles in tumorigenesis frequently reflect their function in embryonic development or in adult tissue homeostasis, and their influence extends beyond the tumours themselves, to the tumour microenvironment and more widely to complications of cancer such as cachexia and bone loss. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Murphy G.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute
Genome biology | Year: 2011

Orchestration of the growth and remodeling of tissues and responses of cells to their extracellular environment is mediated by metalloproteinases of the Metzincin clan. This group of proteins comprises several families of endopeptidases in which a zinc atom is liganded at the catalytic site to three histidine residues and an invariant methionine residue. Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) are endogenous protein regulators of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs) family, and also of families such as the disintegrin metalloproteinases (ADAM and ADAMTS). TIMPs therefore have a pivotal role in determining the influence of the extracellular matrix, of cell adhesion molecules, and of many cytokines, chemokines and growth factors on cell phenotype. The TIMP family is an ancient one, with a single representative in lower eukaryotes and four members in mammals. Although much is known about their mechanism of action in proteinase regulation in mammalian cells, less is known about their functions in lower organisms. Recently, non-inhibitory functions of TIMPs have been identified in mammalian cells, including signaling roles downstream of specific receptors. There are clearly still questions to be answered with regard to their overall roles in biology.

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