Stanford School of Medicine

Chemical & Systems Biology


Dorfman Lecture: David Allis, Ph.D

Posted by CSB Department on December 6, 2013

Speaker: David Allis, Ph.D

Title: “Varying the terrain of epigenetic landscapes: implications for human cancer”

Abstract: The journey of a embryonic stem cell to a fully differentiated somatic cell requires having the right set of genes and being able to express them at the right time and place — a job handled in part by the addition of chemical “tags” onto the DNA itself or onto DNA-packaging proteins known as histones. Together, these marks believed to contribute to “epigenomes”. Recent studies have focused a histone variant known as H3.3. H3.3 is prevalent in active genes, as well as in silent regions, such telomeres. Multiple proteins associate with H3.3 as it exchanges into target domains. Two of them, ATRX and Daxx, are frequently mutated in pancreatic cancers known as panNETs. Mutations in H3.3 itself are also found in pediatric brain tumors. Surprisingly, one of these mutations acts by inhibiting the enzyme responsible for bringing about methylation at this site. This “poisoning” operates in other enzymes that underlie key developmental events. Finally, new links between this variant and DNA methylation will be presented.

Time: Friday, December 6, 2013   4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Location: LKSC Berg Hall

Contact: Marisol Urbano ‒ 650-725-5091 ‒ urbano@stanford.edu