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When the non-coding codes: Mining the Microproteome for New Players in Cancer Cell Plasticity


Organizer: IRB BioMed Seminars

Date: Friday 8 April, 12:00h
Place: Felix Serratosa, PCB

Speaker: Maria Abad, PhD - Head, Cellular Plasticity and Cancer Group - Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) - Barcelona - Spain

Title: "When the non-coding codes: Mining the Microproteome for New Players in Cancer Cell Plasticity "

Host: Manuel Serrano, PhD 



­­­Recent findings have revealed that many RNA molecules annotated as non-protein coding (ncRNAs) actually contain small open reading frames that are transcribed and translated into evolutionary conserved, unannotated microproteins, also known as micropeptides or small-ORF encoded peptides (SEPs). Based on ribosome profiling, proteomics and phylogenetic analyses, the human genome hides thousands of evolutionary conserved microproteins that remain to be identified. These surprising observations open a whole new level of biological complexity, bearing enormous implications from basic research to the clinical setting.

The microproteins characterized to date play key functions in fundamental processes such as DNA repair, embryonic development and tissue regeneration. However, despite the growing interest in finding novel microproteins, their relevance in pathological settings such as cancer has not been revealed so far. My group is focused on the discovery of microproteins relevant for cellular plasticity and cancer. Using a computational method for phylogenetic analysis, we have identified 5 novel and evolutionary conserved microproteins dysregulated in cancer. We have experimentally validated their translation and characterized their molecular functions in vitro and in vivo. We will present our results, that demonstrate that our newly identified microproteins play important roles in diverse functions such as induction of apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, cellular differentiation and inhibition of EMT, all of them under the umbrella of tumor suppression. In summary, we have identified 5 novel tumor suppressor microproteins that could provide new molecular targets for cancer therapies.


IRB BioMed Seminars

IMPORTANT: For attendees outside the PCB community you must register at least 24h before the seminar.


In collaboration with:

fundación bbva