The function of ING proteins in S. cerevisiae

Tumour suppressor genes, such as ING1, help regulate normal cell growth by encoding proteins that inhibit abnormal proliferation of cells. Dr. LeAnn Howe is studying the molecular properties and function of ING1 proteins to understand the processes that lead to the development and growth of tumours. Research has linked ING1 proteins to modification of histones, the main protein component of chromatin, which makes up our chromosomes and genes. Evidence suggests that defects in regulation of chromatin structure may improperly activate or silence genes, leading to disease. Dr. Howe is examining the way ING proteins interact with chromatin to determine whether the proteins can modify chromatin. This research could help explain the role of ING1 genes in cancer development and contribute to new cancer therapies.