RNA-Editing in Thyroid Cancer

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Yonghyun Kwon

Mentor: Dr. Anelia Horvath, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Medicine, George Washington University

Date/Time: May 13, 2019 at 1:30pm

Location: Room 1300, Harris Building

While the exact causes of Thyroid cancer are not yet clear, it is agreed that individuals with an inherited gene mutation (in the case of medullary thyroid cancer) have increased risk. Other correlated risks include radiation exposure, enlarged thyroid, and race (such as asian descents) . While the classifications of the cancer differ depending on the field, thyroid cancer generally has a high five year survival rate as high as 98% in the United States.

The “big data” approach, integrating many different types of -omics studies have been popularized in the recent years and one of the more recent approach is exploring the RNA-editing differences between the normal and tumor samples. RNA-editing is a programmed process driven by enzymes catalyzing alterations in the RNA that may change the coded protein, which in turn, may alter cellular pathways. The post-transcriptional modification and the resulting RNA polymorphism may shine light on the impact that RNA-editing has on pathogenesis of thyroid cancer.

One of the major projects, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) houses over 2.5 petabytes of genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic, and proteomics data. Among the massive data, there exists pairs of normal and tumor sample from individuals. This brief study will be exploring the RNA-editing differences between the normal and disease Thyroid cancer samples through various bioinformatics tools such as sam/bamtools, GATK, WASP, and SeattleSeq.