INVESTIGATING THE PROFILE OF ABERRANTLY EXPRESSED MEIOTIC GENES IN ALT POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE CANCER CELL LINES
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Meiosis is a unique form of cellular division that requires the use of genes normally not expressed in other tissues. Recently, it has been discovered that many of these meiotic genes are being expressed in cancer cell lines. Some of the cell lines identified follow the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) pathway as a means to extend their telomeres in the absence of telomerase, successfully overcoming replicative mortality. A group of meiotic genes identified play a role in mechanisms such as homologous recombination and DNA damage repair – processes essential for the ALT pathway. In an effort to better understand which meiotic genes are necessary and unique to the ALT mechanism, we surveyed ALT positive and ALT negative cancer cell lines for specific gene expression. After identifying genes of interest, we introduced the Auxin Induced Degradation (AID) system into the ALT positive U2OS pediatric osteosarcoma cell line as a method to conditionally deplete candidate proteins of interest during specific stages of the cell cycle.