Cameron Bracken

Cameron Bracken

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Dr Cameron Bracken, Head, Gene Regulation Networks Laboratory.
The Centre for Cancer Biology (CCB) is a Medical Research Institute which carries out a world-class program of innovative research, making breakthrough discoveries in the fundamental causes of cancer, and translating these discoveries into new ways to prevent and treat this group of diseases.

The CCB is an alliance between SA Pathology and the University of South Australia and boasts the largest concentration of cancer research in South Australia, currently hosting 22 full-time research group leaders and their teams.

CCB laboratories carry out research in leukaemia, breast cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer and colon cancer, focussing in the specialised areas of gene regulation, molecular signalling, translational oncology and cancer genomics. In addition to these laboratories, our ACRF Genomics Facility is providing access to state-of-the-art genomics research equipment, computing technology and bioinformatics expertise to the Centre for Cancer Biology and the wider research community.

Translation of new discoveries into clinical practice is strengthened by the co-localisation of the laboratories within a single centre, as well as its proximity to the Royal Adelaide Hospital along with its clinical resources, the University of South Australia and the University of Adelaide, with which it shares key research facilities.

The CCB also has alliances with leading pharmaceutical companies to rapidly exploit new discoveries. The Centre aims to be a hub of internationally recognized cancer research excellence, achieving tangible outcomes for cancer patients.

The CCB is a member of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI)

Gene Regulation Networks Group

Because they have many targets, microRNAs are ideally suited to act as network regulators via their simultaneous targeting of multiple components within a signalling pathway. Utilising cutting-edge methodologies and mass sequencing techniques, we are investigating how microRNAs select and regulate their target genes and how these genes interact to regulate the invasive capacity of cancer cells. We are also investigating new or poorly understood roles for microRNAs in cancer, including the impact of naturally occurring microRNA sequence variants and the potential for microRNAs to directly regulate transcription within the nucleus, a mechanism for which there is good evidence but little recognition. We aim to publish high impact papers of direct relevance to microRNA function in the context of human cancer.

Potential student research projects

Possible student research projects include both wet-bench and/or bioinformatic projects. Research project areas include:

The role of naturally occurring microRNA variants (isomiRs):

MicroRNAs are expressed as a series of naturally-occurring sequence variants called isomiRs. We are investigating examples of isomiRs whereby these subtle variations in sequence can have profound effects on microRNA function.

The role of nuclear microRNAs:

In addition to their well characterised role in the cytoplasm, a significant amount of microRNA also exists in the nucleus. Recent findings suggest this may have a role directly regulating transcription through binding target gene promoters and either recruiting or inhibiting RNA polymerase. We are investigating this new and largely unrecognized mechanism of microRNA function, especially with regard to microRNAs with known roles in the initiation or progression of cancer.

MicroRNA-regulated networks:

Genes function within wider genetic networks which microRNAs are ideally suited to regulate at multiple levels to achieve stronger or more selective functions. We are investigating signalling networks of genes regulated by microRNAs relevant to cancer, such as the multi-level regulation of EGF signalling that is over-active in cancer where it regulates cancer survival, proliferation and migration.

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2021 Pham, V. V. H., Liu, L., Bracken, C., Goodall, G., Li, J., & Le, T. D. (2021). Computational methods for cancer driver discovery: A survey. Theranostics, 11(11), 5553-5568.
    2021 Prompsy, P. B., Toubia, J., Gearing, L. J., Knight, R. L., Forster, S. C., Bracken, C. P., & Gantier, M. P. (2021). Making use of transcription factor enrichment to identify functional microRNA-regulons. Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal, 19, 4896-4903.
    2020 Saunders, K., Bert, A. G., Dredge, B. K., Toubia, J., Gregory, P. A., Pillman, K. A., . . . Bracken, C. P. (2020). Insufficiently complex unique-molecular identifiers (UMIs) distort small RNA sequencing. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 1-9.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS2 Europe PMC2
    2020 Pham, V. V. H., Liu, L., Bracken, C. P., Goodall, G. J., Li, J., & Le, T. D. (2020). DriverGroup: a novel method for identifying driver gene groups. Bioinformatics, 36(Supplement_2), i583-i591.
    DOI Europe PMC1
    2019 Pillman, K. A., Scheer, K. G., Hackett-Jones, E., Saunders, K., Bert, A. G., Toubia, J., . . . Bracken, C. P. (2019). Extensive transcriptional responses are co-ordinated by microRNAs as revealed by Exon-Intron Split Analysis (EISA). Nucleic Acids Research, 47(16), 8606-8619.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS1 Europe PMC1
    2019 Pham, V. V. H., Liu, L., Bracken, C. P., Goodall, G. J., Long, Q., Li, J., & Le, T. D. (2019). CBNA: a control theory based method for identifying coding and non-coding cancer drivers. PLoS computational biology, 15(12), e1007538.
    DOI Scopus4 WoS3 Europe PMC3
    2019 Pillman, K. A., Goodall, G. J., Bracken, C. P., & Gantier, M. P. (2019). miRNA length variation during macrophage stimulation confounds the interpretation of results: implications for miRNA quantification by RT-qPCR. RNA, 25(2), 232-238.
    DOI Scopus7 WoS7 Europe PMC4
    2018 Nejad, C., Pillman, K., Siddle, K., Pépin, G., Anko, M., McCoy, C., . . . Gantier, M. (2018). miR-222 isoforms are differentially regulated by type-I interferon. RNA, 24(3), 332-341.
    DOI Scopus15 WoS17 Europe PMC10
    2018 Narayan, N., Bracken, C., & Ekert, P. (2018). MicroRNA-155 expression and function in AML: An evolving paradigm. Experimental Hematology, 62, 1-6.
    DOI Scopus13 WoS13 Europe PMC8
    2018 Pillman, K. A., Phillips, C. A., Roslan, S., Toubia, J., Dredge, B. K., Bert, A. G., . . . Gregory, P. A. (2018). miR-200/375 control epithelial plasticity-associated alternative splicing by repressing the RNA-binding protein Quaking. EMBO Journal, 37(13), 20 pages.
    DOI Scopus34 WoS37 Europe PMC25
    2018 Cursons, J., Pillman, K., Scheer, K., Gregory, P., Foroutan, M., Hediyeh-Zadeh, S., . . . Davis, M. (2018). Combinatorial targeting by MicroRNAs co-ordinates post-transcriptional control of EMT. Cell Systems, 7(1), 77-91.
    DOI Scopus35 WoS34 Europe PMC24
    2017 Siira, S., Shearwood, A., Bracken, C., Rackham, O., & Filipovska, A. (2017). Defects in RNA metabolism in mitochondrial disease. International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 85, 106-113.
    DOI Scopus4 WoS4 Europe PMC3
    2017 Yu, F., Pillman, K., Neilsen, C., Toubia, J., Lawrence, D., Tsykin, A., . . . Bracken, C. (2017). Naturally existing isoforms of miR-222 have distinct functions. Nucleic Acids Research, 45(19), 11371-11385.
    DOI Scopus37 WoS37 Europe PMC24
    2016 Bracken, C., Scott, H., & Goodall, G. (2016). A network-biology perspective of microRNA function and dysfunction in cancer. Nature Reviews Genetics, 17(12), 719-732.
    DOI Scopus377 WoS375 Europe PMC252
    2015 Yu, F., Bracken, C., Pillman, K., Lawrence, D., Goodall, G., Callen, D., & Neilsen, P. (2015). p53 represses the oncogenic Sno-MiR-28 derived from a SnoRNA. PLoS One, 10(6), e0129190-1-e0129190-20.
    DOI Scopus32 WoS34 Europe PMC25
    2015 Bracken, C., Khew-Goodall, Y., & Goodall, G. (2015). Network-based approaches to understand the roles of miR-200 and other micrornas in cancer. Cancer Research, 75(13), 2594-2599.
    DOI Scopus43 WoS43 Europe PMC30
    2015 Thomson, D., Pillman, K., Anderson, M., Lawrence, D., Toubia, J., Goodall, G., & Bracken, C. (2015). Assessing the gene regulatory properties of Argonaute-bound small RNAs of diverse genomic origin. Nucleic Acids Research, 43(1), 470-481.
    DOI Scopus24 WoS22 Europe PMC23
    2015 Cursons, J., Leuchowius, K., Waltham, M., Tomaskovic-Crook, E., Foroutan, M., Bracken, C., . . . Thompson, E. (2015). Stimulus-dependent differences in signalling regulate epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity and change the effects of drugs in breast cancer cell lines. Cell Communication and Signaling, 13(1), 26-1-26-21.
    DOI Scopus34 WoS34 Europe PMC21
    2014 Salmanidis, M., Pillman, K., Goodall, G., & Bracken, C. (2014). Direct transcriptional regulation by nuclear microRNAs. The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, 54, 304-311.
    DOI Scopus56 WoS48 Europe PMC42
    2014 Li, X., Roslan, S., Johnstone, C., Wright, J., Bracken, C., Anderson, M., . . . Khew-Goodall, Y. (2014). MiR-200 can repress breast cancer metastasis through ZEB1-independent but moesin-dependent pathways. Oncogene, 33(31), 4077-4088.
    DOI Scopus88 WoS80 Europe PMC67
    2014 Bracken, C. P., Li, X., Wright, J. A., Lawrence, D., Pillman, K. A., Salmanidis, M., . . . Goodall, G. (2014). Genome-wide identification of miR-200 targets reveals a regulatory network controlling cell invasion. The EMBO Journal, 33(18), 1979-2134.
    DOI Scopus101 WoS100 Europe PMC77
    2013 Thomson, D., Bracken, C., Szubert, J., & Goodall, G. (2013). On measuring miRNAs after transient transfection of mimics or antisense inhibitors. PLoS One, 8(1), 1-10.
    DOI Scopus75 WoS75 Europe PMC66
    2013 Neilsen, P., Noll, J., Mattiske, S., Bracken, C., Gregory, P., Schulz, R., . . . Callen, D. (2013). Mutant p53 drives invasion in breast tumors through up-regulation of miR-155. Oncogene, 32(24), 2992-3000.
    DOI Scopus118 WoS111 Europe PMC89
    2012 Neilsen, C., Goodall, G., & Bracken, C. (2012). IsomiRs - the overlooked repertoire in the dynamic microRNAome. Trends in Genetics, 28(11), 544-549.
    DOI Scopus292 WoS289 Europe PMC229
    2011 Thomson, D., Bracken, C., & Goodall, G. (2011). Experimental strategies for microRNA target identification. Nucleic Acids Research, 39(16), 6845-6853.
    DOI Scopus410 WoS383 Europe PMC305
    2011 Bracken, C., Szubert, J., Mercer, T., Dinger, M., Thomson, D., Mattick, J., . . . Goodall, G. (2011). Global analysis of the mammalian RNA degradome reveals widespread miRNA-dependent and miRNA-independent endonucleolytic cleavage. Nucleic Acids Research, 39(13), 5658-5668.
    DOI Scopus59 WoS57 Europe PMC42
    2011 Gregory, P., Bracken, C., Smith, E., Bert, A., Wright, J., Roslan, S., . . . Goodall, G. (2011). An autocrine TGF-β/ZEB/miR-200 signaling network regulates establishment and maintenance of epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 22(10), 1686-1698.
    DOI Scopus412 WoS390 Europe PMC324
    2011 Mercer, T., Neph, S., Dinger, M., Crawford, J., Smith, M., Shearwood, A., . . . Mattick, J. (2011). The human mitochondrial transcriptome. Cell, 146(4), 645-658.
    DOI Scopus471 WoS459 Europe PMC358
    2010 Mercer, T., Dinger, M., Bracken, C., Kolle, G., Szubert, J., Korbie, D., . . . Mattick, J. (2010). Regulated post-transcriptional RNA cleavage diversifies the eukaryotic transcriptome. Genome Research, 20(12), 1639-1650.
    DOI Scopus63 WoS54 Europe PMC54
    2010 Tam, K., Russell, D., Peet, D., Bracken, C., Rodgers, R., Thompson, J., & Kind, K. (2010). Hormonally regulated follicle differentiation and luteinization in the mouse is associated with hypoxia inducible factor activity. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 327(1-2), 47-55.
    DOI Scopus32 WoS30 Europe PMC22
    2009 Bracken, C., Gregory, P., Khew-Goodall, Y., & Goodall, G. (2009). The role of microRNAs in metastasis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 66(10), 1682-1699.
    DOI Scopus102 WoS91 Europe PMC75
    2008 Gregory, P., Bracken, C., Bert, A., & Goodall, G. (2008). MicroRNAs as regulators of epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Cell Cycle, 7(20), 3112-3117.
    DOI Scopus404 WoS376 Europe PMC301
    2008 Bracken, C., Gregory, P., Kolesnikoff, N., Bert, A., Wang, J., Shannon, M., & Goodall, G. (2008). A double-negative feedback loop between ZEB1-SIP1 and the microRNA-200 family regulates epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Cancer Research, 68(19), 7846-7854.
    DOI Scopus811 WoS774 Europe PMC659
    2008 Bracken, C., Wall, S., Barre, B., Panov, K., Ajuh, P., & Perkins, N. (2008). Regulation of cyclin D1 RNA stability by SNIP1. Cancer Research, 68(18), 7621-7628.
    DOI Scopus68 Europe PMC54
    2007 Roche, K. C., Rocha, S., Bracken, C. P., & Perkins, N. D. (2007). Regulation of ATR-dependent pathways by the FHA domain containing protein SNIP1. Oncogene, 26(31), 4523-4530.
    DOI Scopus11 Europe PMC8
    2006 Fujii, M., Lyakh, L. A., Bracken, C. P., Fukuoka, J., Hayakawa, M., Tsukiyama, T., . . . Roberts, A. B. (2006). SNIP1 Is a Candidate Modifier of the Transcriptional Activity of c-Myc on E Box-Dependent Target Genes. Molecular Cell, 24(5), 771-783.
    DOI Scopus44 Europe PMC35
    2006 Bracken, C., Fedele, A., Karttunen, S., Balrak, W., Lisy, K., Whitelaw, M., & Peet, D. (2006). Cell-specific regulation of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α and HIF-2α stabilization and transactivation in a graded oxygen environment. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 281(32), 22575-22585.
    DOI Scopus150 WoS147 Europe PMC108
    2005 Bracken, C., Whitelaw, M., & Peet, D. (2005). Activity of hypoxia-inducible factor 2α is regulated by association with the NF-κB essential modulator. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 280(14), 14240-14251.
    DOI Scopus55 WoS55 Europe PMC46
    2003 Bracken, C., Whitelaw, M., & Peet, D. (2003). The hypoxia-inducible factors: key transcriptional regulators of hypoxic responses. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 60(7), 1376-1393.
    DOI Scopus195 WoS182 Europe PMC142
  • Conference Items

    Year Citation
    2008 Gregory, P. A., Bracken, C. P., Bert, A. G., Paterson, E. L., Kolesnikoff, N., Farshid, G., . . . Goodall, G. J. (2008). Role of the miR-200 family in mediating EMT in response to TGF-β. Poster session presented at the meeting of Abstracts and Reviews of 7th Joint Conference of the International Cytokine Society and the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research, as published in Cytokine. Montreal, Canada: Elsevier.
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2015 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Identification and Functional Characterization of Long Noncoding RNAs Involved in Endosperm Development of Arabidopsis thaliana Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Quang Trung Do
    2014 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Micro-RNAs in Cancer: Novel Origins and Sequence Variation Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Feng Yu
    2010 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Insight into the function of microRNAs and other small RNAs of diverse origin Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Daniel Wyville Thomson

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