Research News

<p>Fluorescence microscopy image of the hypothalamus arcuate nucleus with POMC neurons in green (Image: Alicia G Gómez-Valadés)</p>
7 Jun 2017

A study co-led by IRB Barcelona and IDIBAPS emphasizes the importance of the neuronal mechanisms in the detection of nutrients and the control of glucose levels.

The results published in Cell Metabolism help to understand diabetes in greater detail.

<p>Representative images of different subtypes of skin tumors (L. Rinaldi, IRB Barcelona)</p>
25 May 2017

Researchers led by Salvador Aznar-Benitah at IRB Barcelona investigate the role of Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b proteins in skin homeostasis and tumour development in adult mice.

The study has been published in eLife and deserved an eLife digest aimed at a more general audience.

<p>Patient derived colorectal cancer in mice with LGR5-enhanced flourescent protein (EGFP) modification to follow the behaviour of cancer stem cells (image: G. Turon, IRB Barcelona)</p>
3 May 2017

In EMBO Molecular Medicine, IRB Barcelona scientists report a technique based on a combination of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing and patient-derived tumour organoids that allows the study of cell heterogeneity in human tumours.

The novel approach was used to examine the behaviour of colorectal cancer stem cells by tracing specific marker genes.

<p>Researchers revealed details of the p38 activation mechanism. The image represents the structural changes from the inactive state (purple) to the active one (green) proposed by X-ray crystallography. Image: Antonija Kuzmanic.</p>
27 Apr 2017

p38α is a protein involved in chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer, among other pathological conditions.

Published in the journal eLife, the study provides a deeper understanding of the structure of this protein, thereby paving the way for the development of more effective inhibitors.

These findings are the result of combining fundamental biological data using computational techniques.

<p>Aleix Prat (IDIBAPS), Roger Gomis (IRB Barcelona) and Juan Miguel Cejalvo (PhD student in the joint programme PhD4MD)</p>
20 Apr 2017

Researchers at IDIBAPS and IRB Barcelona have described in Cancer Research, that the longer the time from the onset of the tumour to the development of metastasis is, the more aggressive this cancer becomes.

<p>Left, atomic structure of RNA polymerase I in its inactive form - homodimer; Right, atomic structure of RNA polymerase I in its active form -heterodimer with Rrn3-. (Carlos Fernández-Tornero CIB/CSIC and Oriol Gallego, IRB Barcelona)</p>
16 Mar 2017

Researchers unveil a mechanism responsible for halting protein synthesis when cells are deprived of nutrients.

The cell regulates its growth by forming various assemblies of RNA polymerase I.

The study has implications for cancer research.

<p>The image shows tumour cells infected by the virus, which expresses a fluorescent protein. Over the days (in the image fifth day), the virus multiplies, generating new virions that infect more cancer cells (IDIBAPS, IRB Barcelona)</p>
16 Mar 2017

IDIBAPS and IRB Barcelona researchers show the effectiveness of a new strategy to achieved genetically modified viruses that infect only tumor cells, thus preserving healthy tissues.

It is an innovative approach that exploits the different expression profiles of certain proteins between tumor and healthy cells, thus allowing the virus to infect only the former.

 

<p>After chemotherapy, quiescent cells change their  behaviour​, become active​ ​and regenerate all cell types in the intestine (in green). (F Barriga, IRB Barcelona)</p>
9 Mar 2017

These comprise a small group of passive stem cells—quiescent—that are activated when needed and have the capacity to produce any kind of intestinal cell.

Quiescent cells are relevant for tissue regeneration and for their participation in tumour development.

<p>On the left, in vivo image of nanomachines using current microscopy techniques; on the right, the new method allows 3D observation of nanomachines in vivo and provides 25-fold improvement in resolution  (O. Gallego, IRB Barcelona)</p>
26 Jan 2017

Researchers headed by IRB Barcelona combine genetic engineering, super-resolution microscopy and biocomputation to allow them to see in 3D the protein machinery inside living cells

Published in the journal Cell, the study unveils key functional features of an assembly of proteins that is vital for animals and plants.

With this new strategy in hand, it will be possible to study cellular protein machinery in health and in disease.

<p>Staining of mouse liver sections showing steatosis of the liver (fatty liver), with accumulation of fat, lipid droplets (in red), within cells. Cell nuclei stain blue (C. Maíllo, IRB Barcelona).</p>
17 Jan 2017

It is a disease of the liver caused by excessive fat deposits in liver cells.

It is now the most prevalent chronic liver disease in industrialised countries and is a major public health concern because it leads to serious liver conditions.