Kevin Van Bortle

Assistant Professor, Cell & Developmental Biology

RNA polymerase III (Pol III) upregulation is a hallmark of cancer, suggesting increased Pol III activity, which produces tRNA, 5S rRNA, and other small RNA species needed for protein accumulation, is a requirement for cancer cell proliferation. Using a combinatorial genomic approach, Van Bortle has most recently demonstrated that a specific Pol III subunit, POLR3G, expands Pol III transcription potential and increases specific small RNAs in cancer. Van Bortle’s group seeks to deconstruct the mechanism(s) of POLR3G enhanced transcription and function(s) of downstream small RNA repertoires enriched in cancer cells, opening the door for new opportunities to understand gene dysregulation in cancer with therapeutic potential.