Riegel Lab


The overall emphasis of the Riegel lab over the years has been the understanding related to transcriptional control of autocrine or paracrine signaling in breast cancer. Despite therapeutic successes in targeting breast cancer it remains a major cause of female cancer mortality. The current focus of the Riegel Laboratory laboratory is to understand the epigenetic mechanisms that drive malignant progression with a goal of reducing overall breast cancer incidence and death.  In particular we are trying to understand the role of coactivators and corepressors in the expression and activity of transcription factors in this process. We have published extensively on the nuclear receptor coactivator AIB1 (amplified in breast cancer 1). AIB1, and its more active isoform D4, are oncogenes associated with reduced survival in breast cancer and whose overexpression in mouse models and in human xenograft models can directly drive the development of pre-neoplasia, early stage breast cancer (DCIS) and invasive mammary cancer. Using ChiP and ChiP seq analysis, we have determined that the corepressor and tumor suppressor ANCO1/ANKRD11 can interact with WT AIB1, resulting in transcriptional repression, via epigenetic regulation of pro-oncogenic gene expression. We are currently investigating the epigenetic mechanisms involved and whether they can be targeted for treatment to halt progression of breast cancer.