Research News

<p>Image representing the effects of the circadian clock in ageing (Author: Iris Joval Granollers)</p>
10 Aug 2017

Stem cell functions continue to be governed by day and night cycles (circadian rhythms) during ageing, but their rhythms become devoted to tissue repair and not to the maintenance of tissue tone.

The two studies published in Cell and headed by Salvador Aznar Benitah at IRB Barcelona reject the scientific dogma associating ageing with the loss of stem cell circadian rhythm.

A low-calorie diet delays alterations in the rhythmic functions of stem cells and slows down ageing.

<p>Fran Supek is the first author of the study published today in Cell. Supek developed this work while he was working with Ben Lehner at CRG (Photo: M Minocri, IRB Barcelona)</p>
27 Jul 2017

Fran Supek (IRB Barcelona) and Ben Lehner (CRG) identify important processes that create mutations that cause cancer by studying the genomes of more than 1,000 tumors.

Many mutations in human cancers are caused by mistakes made by a repair mechanism or ‘DNA spellchecker’ rather than the actual damage to DNA caused by the environment.

Sunlight and alcohol consumption increase the rate at which this happens, resulting in more mutations in the most important parts of our genomes.

 

<p>3D structure of the protein relaxase bound to a DNA fragment. The histidine residue that performs the DNA nicking, is shown in blue (bottom right) (Radoslaw Pluta, IRB Barcelon</p>
26 Jul 2017

Scientists at IRB Barcelona identify a key component of the machinery that allows Staphylococcus aureus to transfer genes that confer antibiotic resistance. 

Infection by antibiotic-resistant S. aureus is a serious threat in hospitals worldwide.

Halting the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is one of the strategies available to tackle hospital infections.

<p>The experiments have been carried out using Xenopus laevis oocytes, an animal model used by the laboratory to study fundamental processes involved in gene regulation. Image: microscopy, Eulàlia Belloc.</p>
18 Jul 2017

Published in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, the study reveals new insights into translation regulation, an essential step in genome regulation.

These findings will help researchers to better understand pathological processes such as cancer. 

<p>Cross sections of wild type or TLK2 deficient embryos stained for the proliferative marker Ki67. Embryos lacking TLK2 (left) appear morphologically normal but developmentally delayed. (S. Segura-Bayona, IRB Barcelona)</p>
17 Jul 2017

The work is the first to report on the key role of the TLK2 gene in mouse embryo development.

The study solidifies an important role for both TLK1 and TLK2 in genome stability.

A massive genomics study of people with intellectual disabilities performed in the Netherlands points to patient mutations in the TLK2 gene.

<p>Glycogen (black particles) accumulates in large amounts in the muscle due to the absence of the protein glycogenin (Giorgia Testoni, IRB Barcelona)</p>
6 Jul 2017

A study published in Cell Metabolism by IRB Barcelona scientists turns long-standing assumptions about glycogen biology on their head.

The results may explain the muscular defects of patients with glycogen storage disease XV.

<p>The top and bottom of the image show how the Dpp concentration gradient affects the organisation of the wing structure of Drosophila melanogaster. In the centre, in the absence of Dpp, the wing does not grow. Image: Lara Barrio.</p>
5 Jul 2017

Scientists at IRB Barcelona clarify the function of the genes that drive wing development in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.

Published in the journal eLife, this study unveils that the Dpp morphogen is necessary for wing growth but that its gradient does not govern this process.

Understanding the development of limbs in Drosophila paves the way to research into congenital defects in vertebrates.

<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.