Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Science


Long Interspersed Nuclear Elements (LINEs) are retrotransposons. They function by making a cDNA copy, reverse-transcribing it into DNA and reinserting itself back into the genome; thereby, increasing its copy number. Sequencing of the human genome revealed that LINEs (L1) are underrepresented on the short arm of human chromosome 21 (HC21), but it is enriched in full-length copies. A number of previous studies have investigated the DNA methylation patterns of L1s in cancer cells, but these studies are typically done in euchromatic regions. The heterochromatic short arm of HC21 is primarily composed of heterochromatin. However these regions can be targeted for study since they play an important role in chromosome function and a few genes may be concealed in them. Here I investigate DNA methylation patterns in promoter regions of four full-length L1s on the short arm of HC21 in prostate cancer cells with various forms of aggression. I show that the L1s on the short arm are hypomethylated relative to those on the long euchromatic arm. Also the short arm L1s are hypomethylated in prostate cancer cells relative to normal cells, but there is no apparent correlation of methylation level and degree of tumor aggression.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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