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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

  • Alternative Polyadenylation Patterns for Novel Gene Discovery and Classification in Cancer Begik O, Merve Oyken M, Cinkilli Alican T,Can T, Erson-Bensan AE. Neoplasia, 19(7): 574–582

    2. Alternative Polyadenylation: Another Foe in Cancer. Erson-Bensan AE, Can T. Mol Cancer Res. 2016 Jun;14(6):507-17. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-15-0489. Epub 2016 Apr 13. Review. PMID:27075335