Aberrant RNAs require identification and destruction because otherwise they can be translated into abnormal proteins that lead to cancer. I discovered a novel melanoma tumor suppressor, CDK13, that normally activates RNA surveillance to degrade prematurely terminated RNAs in the nucleus. When CDK13 is mutated, many aberrant RNAs accumulate and are translated, resulting in more lethal melanoma. The Insco Lab will further investigate the mechanisms of RNA surveillance in melanoma and develop therapeutic strategies for cancers whose growth is dependent on impaired nuclear RNA surveillance.
The Insco Lab is committed to discovering novel therapeutic approaches for melanoma patients.