Research News

<p>A invasive front of highly aggressive tumour cells (in green). Confocal microscopy image. Alexandra Avgustinova, IRB Barcelona.</p>
19 Nov 2018

A team headed by ICREA researchers Salvador Aznar Benitah and Fran Supek concludes that care should be taken with drugs that inhibit epigenetic factors.

Published in Nature Cell Biology, the study is a collaboration between a biomedical lab and a computational lab at IRB Barcelona.

<p>Giant Yellow Israeli scorpion. Image: Ester Inbar</p>
14 Nov 2018

Researchers at IRB Barcelona modify chlorotoxin—a small protein present in scorpion venom with blood-brain barrier permeability—to transport drugs into the brain. 

The barrier, which protects the brain, prevents drugs used for the treatment of neurological diseases and brain tumours from entering the organ.

<p>Skin of a young mouse. The image shows a cross section of the skin with the fibroblasts indicated in green. The thickness of the dermis and the density of fibroblasts is much greater in young skin than in aged skin– cell nuclei, in blue (M Salzer, IRB Bar</p>
8 Nov 2018

A study in mice done at IRB Barcelona and CNAG-CRG explains that dermal fibroblasts lose their cell identify over time and with it their capacity to produce and secrete collagen and other proteins.

<p>The DNA molecule, formed by a double helix, winds around histone molecules twice, thus forming nucleosomes. The pink regions indicate those enriched in Adenine/Thymine base pairs (Author: Iris Joval Granollers)</p>
1 Nov 2018

The team headed by Núria López-Bigas has published an article in Cell about what might have favoured the periodicity of certain base pairs in the genomes of eukaryotic organisms.

The structure adopted by DNA when packaged inside cells influences the periodicity observed.

<p>Figure showing the binding of a nanobody derived from alpaca to the EGF protein. The scientists demonstrate the high affinity and selectivity of a family of nanobodies for EGF, target of interest for the treatment of cancer (S Guardiola, IRB Barcelona)</p>
2 Oct 2018

A study done at IRB Barcelona and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel identifies camelid nanobodies able to block EGF, a protein that is abundant in tumour cells and that helps them to proliferate.

<p>Drosophila epithelium subjected to chromosomal instability (CIN): cells start invading the neighbouring tissues. Magenta labels the nuclei of all the epithelium while green labels the membranes of cells subjected to CIN (L Barrio, IRB Barcelona)</p>
26 Sep 2018

Most solid tumours with metastatic potential show a high degree of chromosomal instability.

A study published in the journal Developmental Cell demonstrates that chromosomal instability itself promotes invasive behaviour.

The researchers identify the oncogene Fos and the tumour suppressor Capicua as necessary molecular elements mediating this invasive behaviour.

<p>Raúl Méndez and Eulàlia Belloc from the Translational Control of Cell Cycle and Differentiation Lab at IRB Barcelona</p>
16 Aug 2018

The protein CPEB4, which coordinates the expression of hundreds of genes required for neuronal activity, is altered in the brains of individuals with autism

Published in Nature, the study indicates that a defect in CPEB4 could be the link between environmental factors that alter brain development and the genes that determine susceptibility to autism

<p>Structure of TGIF1, attached to DNA.</p>
13 Aug 2018
  • A group of scientists headed by Maria Macias, ICREA researcher at IRB Barcelona, describes the mechanism through which TGIF1 inhibits the activity of Smad proteins.
  • The study, which used molecular and structural biology techniques to analyse this interaction, has been published in Nucleic Acids.
<p>TLK inhibition leads to replication stress (green) and extensive DNA damage (red) in cultured cancer cells. Sandra Segura-Bayona, IRB Barcelona.</p>
8 Aug 2018

Published in Science Advances, the study shows that the TLK1 and TLK2 enzymes are critical for ensuring the copying of DNA.

Loss of TLK1 and TLK2 results in extensive DNA damage during DNA replication and in cancer cell death.

Depletion of TLK1/2 enhances the effectiveness of some chemotherapeutic agents currently being tested in clinical trials

<p>Miquel Duran-Frigola, Associate Researcher at the Structural Bioinformatics and Network Biology lab, IRB Barcelona</p>
31 Jul 2018

A new computational model has allowed researchers to identify new therapeutic targets that can attack cancer cells by lowering their intracellular pH.

The study, which is the result of collaboration between IRB Barcelona, the Moffitt Cancer Center, and the University of Maryland, has been published in Nature Communications.