Research News

<p>Lung tumor stained for proliferating cells (brown) (IRB Barcelona)</p>
20 Jan 2020

Ángel Nebreda’s team has published a study in the journal PNAS reporting the involvement of the protein p38 in the progression of lung cancer.

The work shows that patients with low levels of this protein have a better prognosis. 

One of the biggest challenges faced by biomedicine is the development of more selective and efficient cancer treatments.

<p>A massive genomic sequencing and assembly strategy has allowed the scientists to gain the most complete vision of the genomic sequence of this species</p>
20 Dec 2019

This species shows several genetic duplications, which may explain its high plasticity and capacity to adapt to diverse farming conditions.

CSIC has headed this research, which has brought about a considerable advance in the development of genomic and biotechnological tools to achieve more sustainable fish farming.

The findings of the study will be applied in genetic selection and environmental programming in order to improve fish quality and interaction with the microorganisms present in the host environment.

<p>To ensure adequate levels of proteins in the cell, a strict quality control system is responsible for tagging the proteins with ubiquitin for degradation. Francisco Martínez, IRB Barcelona.</p>
2 Dec 2019

Published in the journal Nature Cancer, the study analyses how genetic alterations in tumour cells prevent the correct degradation of the proteins involved in tumour development and growth, thereby leading to abnormal cell behaviour.

A machine-learning model has allowed the scientists to obtain the most extensive annotation of the ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation system.

The analysis proposes a potential new clinical approach for cancer through the inhibition of oncoproteins with impaired degradation systems.

<p>Researchers at IRB Barcelona have identified these genetic footprints produced by some cancer treatments and have for the first time been able to calculate the genetic toxicity of some of these treatments. Claudia Arnedo, IRB Barcelona.</p>
19 Nov 2019

Scientists at IRB Barcelona determine the genetic alterations in the cells of cancer patients caused by the main cancer therapies.

This is an important step towards understanding the long-term side effects and optimizing treatments against cancer.

The results have been published in the journal Nature Genetics.

<p>The SMAD2 protein can have two orientations. Green indicates the open configuration that allows DNA binding and red the closed configuration, which is incompatible with such binding. Maria J. Macias, IRB Barcelona.</p>
11 Nov 2019

Both transcription factors regulate the expression of genes involved in embryo development, among other functions, although they exert very different roles.

The study also refutes the theory accepted to date that SMAD2 does not bind to DNA.

Published in Genes & Development, the research is the result of collaboration between Maria J. Macias’ lab at IRB Barcelona and Joan Massagué’s group at the Sloan Kettering Institute (New York, US).

<p>Predictive decision trees optimized to decide if a cancer mutation will become visible to the immune system. Rik G.H. Lindeboom, Radboud University.</p>
29 Oct 2019

Using machine learning, researchers have built a tool that detects genetic mutations that trigger the immune system, helping identify which cancer patients are more likely to benefit from immunotherapy

The algorithm also reveals which people living with hereditary diseases may benefit from drugs that already exist

The new technology’s potential is described today in Nature Genetics by researchers at IRB Barcelona, the Centre for Genomic Regulation and Radboud University

<p>Toni Gabaldón and his team.</p>
19 Sep 2019

Scientists shed light on how the genome organizes groups of genes linked to specific processes, like the release of toxins

They carried out a study on fungi and found more than 11,000 gene families grouped together or near each other in the genome

The results are published today in the journal Nature Microbiology

<p>p53 target genes (green) are upregulated in undergrowing cell populations (magenta).</p>
4 Sep 2019

Researchers at IRB Barcelona and IAL Santa Fe in Argentina have found the cell-signalling factor TNFα to be critical for coordinated organ growth in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.

Regulated by the tumour suppressor p53, TNFα enables the tissue to detect and reverse growth defects.

These findings allow researchers to better understand tissue development better, and they are also relevant for diseases such as cancer.

<p>Structure of the portal proteins of Epstein-Barr virus. Cristina Machón, IRB Barcelona.</p>
29 Aug 2019

Two studies by IRB Barcelona and IBMB-CSIC published in Nature Communications reveal the portal structure of the Epstein-Barr virus and bacteriophage T7.

No treatment is currently available for the infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, which, in addition to causing mononucleosis, leads to various types of cancer.

The studies were done in collaboration with CNB-CSIC and the University of Oxford.

<p>Lluís Ribas, head of the Gene Translation Laboratory (IRB Barcelona)</p>
22 Aug 2019

PNAS publishes a study by the team headed by ICREA research professor Lluís Ribas. The study demonstrates that transfer RNA genes are expressed in a differential manner in human tissue in order to form smaller fragments, whose function is still unknown.

Understanding the biological function of these fragments and the key role that the transfer RNA gene plays in the regulation of their levels will pave the way to improve, alter or inhibit their activity.