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DNA methylation profiling of fish tumours

Mirbahai, Leda (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Assessment of disease status in fish is used as an indicator of the biological effects of contaminants in the marine environment. At some UK offshore sites the prevalence of liver tumours in Limanda limanda (dab) exceeds 20%. However, the molecular mechanisms of tumour formation and the causative agents are not known. The contribution of epigenetic mechanisms, although well-established in human tumourigenesis, is under-studied in tumours of aquatic species. In this thesis, alteration in the DNA methylation patterns in tumours of two fish species, the model species zebrafish (Danio rerio) and the un-sequenced marine flatfish dab, were investigated. The data presented provided a comprehensive characterisation of DNA methylation pattern in zebrafish liver and the first evidence of alterations in DNA methylation profiles of key genes in tumourigenesis pathways in any aquatic species. A statistically significant lower level of global DNA methylation was demonstrated in hepatocellular adenoma (HCA) and non-cancerous surrounding liver tissue (ST) compared to liver of non-cancer bearing dab. The evidence presented in this thesis suggests that chronic exposure to a mixture of pollutants contribute to global DNA hypomethylation followed by further epigenetic and genomic changes, leading to the development of tumours in dab. These findings suggest a link between the environment, epigenome and cancer in fish tumours in the wild.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Chipman, J. Kevin and Williams, Tim
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Biosciences
Subjects:QH301 Biology
QL Zoology
RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
SH Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3633
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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