Scientific News

28 Jul 2015

Researchers at IRB Barcelona discover the molecular mechanism that determines how epigenetic markers influence gene expression

27 Jul 2015

Combination of two strong denaturants of DNA leads to stabilization of the structure

An unexpected finding that opens new fields to the biotechnological use of DNA

22 Jul 2015

A study, published today in the journal Nature, marks a milestone in the understanding of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

CLL is the most frequent leukemia with more than 12,000 new cases diagnosed in Europe every year

IRB Barcelona group leader Modesto Orozco participated in the study as he is involved with the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC)

13 Jul 2015

Maria Macias, Pau Martín, and Joan Massagué publish a featured review article in Trends in Biochemical Sciences (TIBS) on the Smad protein family, the members of which play a key role in cancer.

The article is accompanied by a web application in which available 3D structures of Smads can be explored, as can their alterations in several metazoa, their variability in humans, and their mutations in tumours.

7 Jul 2015

Researchers at IRB Barcelona study CEP63, a gene that is mutated in Seckel Syndrome, a rare disease that causes microcephaly and growth defects.

The protein CEP63 is crucial for the correct division of brain stem cells. In its absence, mice reproduce Seckel Syndrome.

The scientists rescued the microcephaly during mouse embryonic development by removing a protein that caused the loss of stem cells.

Also, CEP63-depleted male mice are infertile. The relationship between this protein and sperm production is revealed for the first time.

28 Apr 2015

A study done on fruit flies and published in Nature Communications reveals that the protein dDsk2, in addition to degrading proteins, also plays a key role in regulating gene expression.

This protein is also present in humans and is known to be mutated in several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s. But the mechanism by which these mutations contribute to the development of disease remains unclear.

IRB Barcelona is to start a study to examine the relationship between dDsk2 mutations and neurodegenerative diseases.

27 Feb 2015

dSysMap (which stands for “Disease-mutations Systemic Mapping”) is a computational tool to interpret the effect of genetic mutations on the development of complex diseases.

The tool allows researchers to explore how alterations in more than 2,000 proteins affect the diverse biological functions in which these molecules are involved.

The Pan-Cancer consortium has included the tool in order to gain a more global view of the causes of tumour development.

23 Feb 2015

A study published in Nature Genetics by researchers at IRB Barcelona explains the basis for the classification of colon tumours in good or bad prognosis by analysing the tissue surrounding the tumour cells.

The scientists are currently developing a test that enables the identification of patients at risk of relapse after surgical removal of the tumour by measuring 4-6 genes expressed by the tumour microenvironment.

The researchers also propose to test in patients a particular drug that blocks the metastatic capacity of colorectal cancers in mice.

This drug has been tested using novel technology that allows the growth of mini colon cancers, also known as organoids, derived from patient samples.

5 Feb 2015

Chemists at IRB Barcelona patent and present a shuttle capable of transporting molecules into the brain; this achievement could facilitate the treatment of diseases with no therapy available.

98% of drugs targeting the central nervous system are discarded because they are unable to cross the physical barrier that protects the brain.

The IRB Barcelona scientists, together with clinical teams, are now evaluating the potential of their shuttle for rare and orphan diseases.

23 Jan 2015

Researchers in Barcelona discover more potential candidates on the route to tailored, photo-switchable therapies by disproving design limitation