UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


Nuclear organization mediates cancer-compromised genetic and epigenetic control

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pediatrics; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology; UMass Metabolic Network; Nickerson Lab; Imbalzano Lab

Publication Date


Document Type



Cancer Biology | Cell Biology | Cellular and Molecular Physiology


Nuclear organization is functionally linked to genetic and epigenetic regulation of gene expression for biological control and is modified in cancer. Nuclear organization supports cell growth and phenotypic properties of normal and cancer cells by facilitating physiologically responsive interactions of chromosomes, genes and regulatory complexes at dynamic three-dimensional microenvironments. We will review nuclear structure/function relationships that include: 1. Epigenetic bookmarking of genes by phenotypic transcription factors to control fidelity and plasticity of gene expression as cells enter and exit mitosis; 2. Contributions of chromatin remodeling to breast cancer nuclear morphology, metabolism and effectiveness of chemotherapy; 3. Relationships between fidelity of nuclear organization and metastasis of breast cancer to bone; 4. Dynamic modifications of higher-order inter- and intra-chromosomal interactions in breast cancer cells; 5. Coordinate control of cell growth and phenotype by tissue-specific transcription factors; 6. Oncofetal epigenetic control by bivalent histone modifications that are functionally related to sustaining the stem cell phenotype; and 7. Noncoding RNA-mediated regulation in the onset and progression of breast cancer. The discovery of components to nuclear organization that are functionally related to cancer and compromise gene expression have the potential for translation to innovative cancer diagnosis and targeted therapy.

DOI of Published Version



Adv Biol Regul. 2018 May 9. pii: S2212-4926(18)30078-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jbior.2018.05.001. [Epub ahead of print] Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Advances in biological regulation

PubMed ID