Cell Signaling and Cancer

Research topics

Role of cellular signaling in transformation

Keywords: MAPK, AKT, Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Kinase Inhibitors, p53 

Palabras clave: MAPK, AKT, Quimioterapia, Radioterapia, Inhibidores de quinasas, p53

Our group is interested in studying how cellular signaling (vg. MAPK, AKT) can affect the process of cellular transformation. To this end, we have developed several lines of research including chemical and genetic approaches applied to in vitro models of cancer cell lines and in vivo mouse models. For example, in the case of MAPK we have been able to uncover the implication of erk1/2 in the process of viral oncogenesis. We are currently focusing on the study of the role of MAPK-dependent signaling in human sarcoma, a poorly studied pathology but with high incidence in childhood. By using an experimental mouse model based on chemical carcinogenesis we expect to clarify MAPK´s role in the development of soft tissue sarcomas.

Role of cellular signaling in cancer therapy

Role of cellular signaling in the response to chemotherapy. 

Our study encompasses conventional chemotherapy as well as novel compounds used in targeted therapy, such as Imatinib, Palbociclib or Sorafenib, among others. The main goal is to understand how cellular signaling can affect the response to cancer therapy and its involvement in the development of resistant phenotypes. On this subject, our group has great expertise in the study of how p38 MAPK or ERK1/2 modulate the cellular responses to several antitumor agents including Cisplatin, 5-FU, Sorafenib or Imatinib.

Role of cellular signaling in the response to radiotherapy. 

In the case of ionizing radiation, we are focused on elucidating the role of cellular signaling in the development of cancer cell radioresistance. Also, our group has great interest in the role of cellular signaling in the radiosensitizer potential of several chemotherapeutics agents such as 5-FU or Palbociclib. In addition, our laboratory is also studying the interplay between key proteins in DNA damage response (vg. ATM, p53) and cellular signaling.

Role of autophagy in cancer therapy.

Finally, our group is also interested in the role of autophagy in the cellular responses to different antitumor treatments. In this sense, Autophagy has become a key player in the development of chemo and radioresistance. On the other side, Autophagy induction could be an alternative mechanism for treating tumors resistant to apoptotic responses induced by chemo and radiotherapy, suggesting a novel therapeutic potential for the modulation of this interesting biological process.