Rachel DeWeerd

Program: Cancer Biology

Current advisor: Abby M. Green, MD

Undergraduate university: Drury University, 2019

Enrollment year: 2021

Research summary
Determining the impact of global APOBEC3A mutagenesis on gene expression

The APOBEC3 family of cytosine deaminases are an endogenously expressed DNA and RNA mutators, functioning canonically as viral restriction factors. Some APOBEC3 members, however, are able to localize to the nucleus and act on genomic DNA. The most potent family member, APOBEC3A, binds to cytosine (C) bases in DNA and RNA, as well as methylated cytosines (5mC) in DNA. Cellular processing of deaminated C bases can result in base mutations- the pattern of these mutations, or signatures, is highly prevalent in human cancers. We are interested in identifying the mechanisms which determine APOBEC3A mutagenesis patterns at the cellular level and how APOBEC3A activity contributes to changes in overall cellular function.

Graduate publications