Research News

<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.

<p>The figure shows two views, frontal and lateral, of the image obtained by CT of the lungs of a mouse with fibrosis (grey areas) before and after receiving nano-therapy directed at senescent cells. (Guillem Garaulet and Francisca Mulero, CNIO)</p>
26 Jul 2018

A team headed by Manuel Serrano at IRB Barcelona has designed a drug encapsulation system that selectively targets senescent cells.

The study paves the way for therapeutic approaches to eliminate senescent cells in many diseases, such as pulmonary fibrosis and cancer.

<p>Diversity is key: metagenomes from different enviroments can predict different types of gene functions (Graphic, F Supek, IRB Barcelona)</p>
17 Jul 2018

An international team led by computational biologist Fran Supek at IRB Barcelona develop a machine learning method to predict unknown gene functions of microbes.

The system examines and compares ‘big data’ available on the metagenomes of human and environmental microbiomes.

<p>Intestine of a patient  with ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestine. Macrophage marker is shown in green, activated p38 protein in red, and nucleus in blue. Author: Catrin Youssif, IRB Barcelona</p>
11 Jul 2018

A new study by researchers at IRB Barcelona demonstrates that myeloid cells, which belong to the leucocyte family and form part of the innate immune system, use p38 protein signalling to support inflammation-associated colon cancer.

Published in EMBO Molecular Medicine, the study by Angel R. Nebreda suggests that inhibition of the p38 pathway in myeloid cells may be a useful therapeutic approach, especially in tumours associated with chronic inflammation.

<p>Image: CRG</p>
9 Jul 2018

Researchers at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in collaboration with IRB Barcelona, developed a new method to systematically identify genes contributing to heritable cancer risk.

The study, published in Nature Communications, is a success story for data sharing and openness in science.