Exploring the epigenetic link in circadian disruption induced breast cancer

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Kochan, David
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Biological Sciences
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death among women worldwide. Evidence is also mounting that circadian disruption (CD) is probably carcinogenic to humans and is linked to breast cancer development. The aim of this thesis is to provide new insights into the epigenetic links involved in CD-induced breast cancer. The results presented here show for the first time that CD induces expression changes in breast cancer-relevant and potentially circadian-relevant miRNAs in mammary tissues. Moreover, the results also show that long-term CD can potentially cause gene expression changes on a large enough scale to influence breast cancer-relevant signaling pathways. These findings align with previous studies that have shown that CD is a warranted concern in breast cancer development, and that the initiation of this process may be linked to aberrant CD-induced miRNA activity in the mammary tissues.
breast cancer , circadian disruption , epigenetics , miRNAs