The Wu lab will investigate the dysregulation of messenger RNA structure in the development of breast cancer. mRNA is a genetic material that carries the blueprint for making proteins based on the information encoded in our DNA, and lack of mRNA regulation can have dire consequences for the cell. For instance, RNA helicases are enzymes critical for correctly facilitating the folding of RNA structures, and mutations in these proteins have been found in several cancer types, including breast cancer. Previously, I developed a sequencing-based chemical probe to map out structural changes in RNA. We will now adapt this technology along with cutting-edge computational tools to capture and compare RNA folding in different stages of breast cancer, reveal how these changes affect gene expression, and identify structural changes that are associated with growth, invasion, and the spread of breast cancer. Additionally, we will use gene-editing strategies to examine the role of mutant helicases on RNA remodeling in breast cancer. Findings by the Wu lab will provide key insights into an unfamiliar area of gene regulation with the potential to uncover new therapeutic targets in breast cancer.