Baker Institute for Animal Health
235 Hungerford Hill Road
Ithaca, NY 14853
Our research examining the epigenetic regulation of the tumor suppressor gene SYK in canine and feline mammary stem cells is motivated by three key observations: (1) epigenetic modifications of SYK seem to play a role in human breast cancer development and aggressiveness, (2) SYK has been found in canine and feline mammary cells, and (3) data suggest that mammary stem cells are the primary targets for cancer development. For these reasons, we are comparing the epigenetic regulation of SYK in healthy versus cancerous canine and feline mammary stem cells. As we learn more about how the epigenetic regulation of SYK affects mammary cancer development, we are hopeful that our findings will lead to novel strategies for treating and preventing mammary cancer in dogs and cats.