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Molecular Breast Cancer Laboratory


Breast cancer is a major health problem causing major mortality and morbidity. Our main focus in the lab is to understand why and how normal breast cells are transformed into cancer cells.  To begin understanding this complex question, we are interested mainly in the 3' UTRs (untranslated regions) of mRNAs.

Main interests of the lab are :

1. Investigation of the role of non-coding RNAs (e.g., microRNAs) in neoplatic transformation events

microRNAs are small non-coding RNA fragments that  bind to target mRNAs to regulate their stability and/or translation. Hence, deregulated microRNAs can potentially alter the expression of numerous target proteins.

2. Investigation of alternative polyadenylation in cancer cells.

Given the significance of microRNA mediated gene expression regulation, we are interested in understanding how microRNA and mRNA interactions take place and how these interactiosn may be overriden by regulated alterations of UTR sizes.




Assoc.Prof.Dr.A.Elif Erson Bensan

PhD, 2004 , University of Michigan

MSc 2001,  University of Michigan

BS  1997, METU, Turkey


Recent Publications

  • Erson-Bensan AE, Can T., Alternative Polyadenylation: Another foe in cancer Mol Cancer Res; Published OnlineFirst April 13, 2016

  • Hesna Begum Akman, Merve Oyken, Taner Tuncer, Tolga Can and Ayse Elif Erson-Bensan.3' UTR Shortening and EGF signaling: Implications for breast cancer. Hum. Mol. Genet. 2015. Online Sep.22

  • Akman HB, Selcuklu SD, Donoghue MT, Akhavantabasi S, Sapmaz A, Spillane C, Yakicier MC, Erson-Bensan AEALCAM is indirectly modulated by miR-125b in MCF7 cells.Tumour Biol. 2015 May;36(5):3511-20.