BS, Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry
New Haven, Ct
MD, PhD Student
Charlotte Kuperwasser, PhD, Rotation Adviser
Slug, a member of the Snail family of transcription repressors, plays a critical role in both normal mammary development and the pathogenesis of breast cancer. The Kuperwasser Lab has shown that Slug regulates mammary stem cell activity and epithelial lineage commitment and differentiation, suppressing luminal differentiation in favor of basal and stem cell states. In the context of cancer, Slug promotes the formation of basal-like breast cancer, a more aggressive subtype with limited therapeutic options, and the absence of Slug limits tumorigenic capacity. As such, understanding the regulation of Slug levels can provide crucial insights into mammary development and uncover novel therapeutic targets in cancer. Previous work in the laboratory has shown that deacetylation of Slug by SIRT2, a member of the sirtuin family of deacetylases, can prevent its proteasomal degradation. My rotation examined the effect of SIRT2 loss on in vivo mammary ductal development, stem cell state, and epithelial lineage commitment and differentiation.