Effects of body temperature on cancer-associated alternative splicing
The body temperature of homeothermic organisms is tightly controlled in a narrow range. However, we have shown that subtle fluctuations in the core body temperature e.g. due to circadian temperature oscillations, hypothermia or fever, result in global changes in alternative splicing and gene expression.
To address the functionality of body temperature controlled alternative splicing and gene expression we have used extensive analyses of RNA-Seq datasets. Interestingly, we find cancer-associated genes to be differentially expressed and spliced at different temperatures, which may result in a tumor-suppressive environment at higher temperature. We are now addressing the mechanistic basis and functional consequences of temperature-controlled expression of oncogenes and tumor suppressors, which may contribute to a better molecular understanding of thermotherapy as a therapeutic approach.