Profile and Department: Professor, Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, McMaster University
The mammalian Ets gene family comprises over 30 members that have been grouped into subfamilies based on the relatedness of their sequences. All Ets proteins bear highly related Ets DNA binding domains and either activate or repress transcription. The PEA3 subfamily of Ets genes comprises PEA3, ER81 and ERM. These three genes are co-expressed in many developing tissues and organs during mouse embryogenesis; their overexpression is associated with the genesis and progression of breast and colon cancer. Our research program is centered on elucidating the structure-function and regulation of the expression and activity of the PEA3 subfamily of Ets proteins, and uncovering their role in mammary gland development and oncogenesis. To accomplish our goals we are using state-of-the-art technologies including gene expression profiling with DNA microarrays and various strains of knockout and transgenic mice.