Department of Pathology

Welcome to the Lab of Dr. Chris Mueller in Department of Pathology at Queen's University

Page Last Updated: 2009 September 15
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Contact Info:

  • Email: muellerc (at) queensu (dot) ca
  • Website: http://qcri.queensu.ca/Mueller.html
  • Office Phone: 613-533-6751
  • FAX: 613-533-6830

    Research Interests:

    Transcription Factors Growth and Differentiation Cancer
    We are examining the role that regulation of the expression of the BRCA1 tumor suppressor gene plays in the risk and development of sporadic breast cancer. The inherited form of breast cancer is known to result from genetic defects in the BRCA1 and 2 genes. However, between them they only account for some 10% of all cases. The development of the sporadic form of breast cancer is correlated with the decreased expression of the BRCA1 gene. We are studying the molecular mechanisms which regulate this process and how mutations in the genes which control BRCA1 expression may be responsible for the initiation and progression of breast cancer. We are also studying how changes in BRCA1 expression may contribute to the risk of developing breast cancer. We have found that stress related hormones reduce BRCA1 expression, and this decrease in tumor suppressor activity may create an opportunity for transformation to occur. Similarly, we are examining whether the protective effect of pregnancy may result from increased BRCA1 expression.
    We are also investigating molecular mechanisms which regulate growth, differentiation and immortalization in all types of cells. The Sp1/3 family of transcription factors is known to be involved in the regulation of genes such as the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor p21Cip1/Waf1 and telomerase reverse transcriptase. Changes in the DNA binding activity, stability, post-translational modification and sub-nuclear localization of these proteins play an important role in regulating diverse cellular processes. This work has application in understanding all types of cells and how normal processes are disrupted to give rise to cancer.

  • Selected publications:

  • Mueller, C.R. and Roskelley, C.D. (2002). Transcriptional regulation of the BRCA1 gene and its relationship to sporadic breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research. 5(1):45-52 .
  • Atlas, E., Stramwasser, M., Mueller, CR. (2001) A CREB site in the BRCA1 proximal promoter acts as a constitutive transcriptional element. Oncogene. 20(48): 7110-4114.
  • Atlas, E., Stramwasser M., Whiskin, K. and Mueller, C.R. (2000) GA-binding protein alpha/beta is a critical regulator of the BRCA1 promoter. Oncogene (19): 1933-1940



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    Queen's University Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine