Epigenetics of health and disease

Biology 4110: Advances in Genetics, Molecular and Cell Biology

Olga Kovalchuk's Laboratory

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Research Interests

Role of epigenetic dysregulation in carcinogenesis

Epigenetic regulation of the cancer treatment responses

Radiation epigenetics and role of epigenetic changes in genome stability and carcinogenesis

Radiation-induced oncogenic signaling

Radiation-induced DNA damage, repair and recombination

Research News

Academic couple works toward Alberta's first epigenetics instituteScientists Drs. Igor and Olga Kovalchuk came to Lethbridge knowing next-to-nothing about the city. Now, eight years later, they’ve happily set down roots and are pushing the U of L’s epigenetics research program into the limelight...

Federal Start-up Funds for New Epigenetics Research Group Brings $3.2 Million to CampusCanada Foundation for Innovation Supports Unique, Multi-departmental Epigenetic Research Group at U of L with $3.2 Million in Start-up Funding...

Kovalchuk earns major funding boostObjectivity is essential in the pursuit of scientific discovery. The science, after all, must guide the search...

Top Canadian Researchers Awarded Prestigious Chairs in Gender, Sex and HealthSix of Canada's leading health researchers met recently to discuss research priorities after they were recently awarded research chairs in New Perspectives in Gender, Sex and Health by CIHR's Institute of Gender and Health (IGH)...

IGH welcomes new board membersThe Institute of Gender and Health (IGH) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Blye Frank, (previously Vice-Chair of the IGH Institute Advisory Board) as Chair of our board, and to welcome three new board members, Dr. Françoise Baylis, Dr. Olga Kovalchuk and Dr. Jens Pruessner...

Research About - Gender and Health - The ResearchersDr. Olga Kovalchuk - Sex and Radiation. It was May 1, 1986, in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, and Olga Kovalchuk's father didn't want his teenage daughter to attend the local May Day parade. Something was terribly wrong, he said. The rain was radioactive....

Interpreting Radiation's Impact For cancer therapy, radiation is a two-sided coin. On one side, it's an effective form of treatment, which has allowed countless patients to survive...

DNA research sheds new light on radiation-damaged cells With colleagues from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University, Kovalchuk (Biological Sciences) has devised a way to make cells and specific sections of DNA that are damaged by radiation ‘light up' so the level of change can be traced...

New Perspectives on Radiation The whole story is about the effects ofTreatment radiation exposure on our DNA, let's put it this way. And we used a mouse model to study this. The mouse model is referred to as “recombomice” or the “yellow fluorescent direct repeat (FYDR) recombination substrate mice” in the scientific way...

Board Appoints New Research ChairsDr. Olga Kovalchuk (Biological Sciences), Dr. Igor Kovalchuk (Biological Sciences) and Dr. Sergio Pellis (Neuroscience, Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience) are the University's newest Board of Governors Research Chairs...

NSERC Discovery GrantsThe U of L has received 18 new Discovery Grants worth $563,540 and 48 continuing Discovery Grants worth $1,392,492 for 2007-2008. The total amount of 2007-2008 Discovery Grant funding is $1,956,032...


Selected Publications

Epigenetics of cancer drug resistance
I.P. Pogribny, J. Filkowski, V.P. Tryndyak, A. Golubov, S.I. Shpyleva and O. Kovalchuk. (2009) Alterations of microRNAs and their targets are associated with acquired resistance of MCF-7 breast cancer cells to cisplatin. International Journal of Cancer, in press
L.Luzhna and O.Kovalchuk. (2009) Modulation of DNA methylation levels sensitizes doxorubicin-resistant breast adenocarcinoma cells to radiation-induced apoptosis. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, in press
O. Kovalchuk, J. Filkowski, J. Meservy, Y.Ilnytskyy, V. Tryndyak, V. Chekhun and I. Pogribny. Involvement of microRNA-451 in resistance of the MCF-7 breast cancer cells to chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 7: 2152-2159.
Epigenetic changes play important role in the estrogen-induced breast carcinogenesis
O. Kovalchuk , V. P. Tryndyak, B. Montgomery, A. Boyko, R. Rodriguez-Juarez, F.Zemp, A.R. Warbritton, J.R. Latendesse, I. P. Pogribny. (2007) Estrogen-induced rat breast carcinogenesis is characterized by alterations of DNA methylation, histone modifications and aberrant microRNAs expression. Cell Cycle 6:2010-8
Role of MicroRNAome in carcinogenesis
I. Pogribny, V. Tryndyak, A.Boyko , R. Rodriguez-Juarez, F.A. Beland and O. Kovalchuk. (2007) MicroRNAome deregulation in tamoxifen-induced rat liver carcinogenesis. Mutation Research 619, 30-37
Bystander effects occur in vivo and are epigenetically mediated
S. Ilnytskyy, I. Koturbash and O. Kovalchuk. (2009) Radiation-induced bystander effects in vivo are epigenetically regulated in a tissue-specific manner. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis 50,105-13. EDITOR'S CHOICE PAPER
J.Tamminga, I. Koturbash, M. Baker, K. Kutanzi, P. Kathiria, I. Pogribny, R. Sutherland and O. Kovalchuk. (2009) Paternal cranial exposure induces distant bystander damage in the germline and leads to epigenetic alterations in the offspring. Cell Cycle 7, 1238-45. COVER PAGE PICTURE
I. Koturbash, A. Boyko, R. Rodriguez-Juarez, R. McDonald, V. Tryndyak, I. Kovalchuk, I. Pogribny and O. Kovalchuk. (2007) Role of epigenetic effectors in maintenance of the long-term persistent bystander effect in spleen in vivo. Carcinogenesis 28, 1831-1838
I. Koturbash, R.E. Rugo, C.A. Hendricks, J. Loree , B. Thibault , K. Kutanzi , I. Pogribny, J.C. Yanch, B.P. Engelward, and O. Kovalchuk. (2006) Irradiation induces DNA damage and modulates epigenetic effectors in distant bystander tissue in vivo . Oncogene 25, 4267-4275
Transgenerational radiation effects are epigenetically mediated
J.Filkowski, Y. Ilnytsky, T. Bagnyukova, I. Koturbash, A. Golubov, I. Pogribny and O. Kovalchuk. (2009) Hypomethylation and genome instability in the germline of exposed parents and their progeny is associated with altered miRNA expression. Carcinogenesis, in press
C. Yauk, A. Polyzos, A. Rowan-Carroll, C.M. Somers, R.W. Godschalk, F J. Van Schooten, M.L. Berndt, I.P. Progribny, I. Koturbash, A. Williams, G.R. Douglas, O. Kovalchuk. Germline Mutations, DNA Damage and Global Hypermethylation in Mice Exposed to Particulate Air Pollution in an Urban/Industrial Location. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 105:605-10
I. Koturbash , M. Baker , J. Loree , K. Kutanzi , D. Hudson , I. Pogribny, O. Sedelnikova, W. Bonner and O. Kovalchuk. (2006) Epigenetic Dysregulation Underlies the Transgenerational Genome Instability in vivo. International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics 66, 327-330
Ionizing radiation effects are sex specific and are more pronounced after chronic exposure
I. Koturbash , S. Cassie, M. Baker , Y. Ilnitsky , D. Hudson , E. Weber and O. Kovalchuk.(2006) Novel retinoblastoma binding protein RBBP9 modulates sex-specific radiation responses in vivo . Carcinogenesis 27, 465-474
I.Pogribny, I. Koturbash , V. Tryndyak, D. Hudson, S.M. Stevenson , O. Sedelnikova, W. Bonner and O. Kovalchuk. (2005) Fractionated low-dose radiation exposure leads to accumulation of DNA damage and profound alterations in DNA and histone methylation in the murine thymus. Molecular Cancer Research 3, 553-561.

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