PhD News

<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>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>Surface model showing the structure of the tail of the bacteriophage T7. Ana Cuervo, CNB-CSIC.</p>
21 Aug 2019

The study reveals the opening and closing mechanism of the portal protein during the maturation of the viral capsid, the structure that carries the genetic material of the virus.

The researchers have combined cryomicroscopy and crystallography techniques to study these viruses that infect bacteria.

<p>Interaction of the androgen receptor and chaperone Hsp70 (in red) inside the cell. Blue indicates cell nuclei. Xavier Salvatella, IRB Barcelona.</p>
8 Aug 2019

Activation of the chaperone protein Hsp70 leads to a decrease in the formation of androgen receptor aggregates, which give rise to muscular atrophy in patients with Kennedy´s disease, a rare condition for which no treatment is available.

The results may also be useful in the search for a treatment for castration-resistant prostate cancer, a disease that causes 30,000 death a year in Europe and for which there is no treatment.

The study, which has been published in Nature Communications, is a collaboration with the University of California San Francisco and the University of Michigan. 

<p>Structure of a blood vessel. Raquel Batlle, IRB Barcelona.</p>
16 Jul 2019

Ángel R. Nebreda’s team (IRB Barcelona) publishes a study in the journal Nature Communications addressing the role of the p38 protein in angiogenesis—the formation of new blood vessels—a critical process that fuels tumour cells and allows them to grow and eventually develop metastases.

A greater understanding of how new blood vessel formation is regulated could help to improve chemotherapy treatments for cancer, as well as to develop more efficient angiogenic therapies for other diseases.

<p>Proliferative and invasive capacity of tumour cells (centre) compared to normal cells (left) and effect of TRAMETINIB treatment, which reduces the invasive capacity and tumoural load (right). Marco Milán, IRB Barcelona.</p>
3 Jul 2019

In a study published in Cell Reports,the scientists inhibited the capacity of RAS to block cell death, thus eliminating malignant tumours without affecting the development of organs.

The results of the study pave the way to combining irradiation treatments with the administration of RAS pathway inhibitors to eliminate tumour cells.

<p>The DNAzyme 9DB1, whose catalytically active structure and reaction mechanism was unknown, makes use of a mechanism involving two ions, similar to that used by natural enzymes (J. Aranda, IRB Barcelona).</p>
20 Jun 2019

Modesto Orozco’s lab (IRB Barcelona) has published a study on the reaction mechanism of DNAzymes in Nature Catalysis.

DNAzymes, which are catalysers formed by DNA, have applications in biomedicine and biotechnology. These research results will contribute to advances in the design and improvement of catalysers for therapeutic purposes.

<p>The asymmetry of DNA-RNA hybrids can be used to improve the efficiency of gene editing technologies like CRISPR-Cas9 (M Terrazas, IRB Barcelona)</p>
13 Jun 2019

Modesto Orozco’s laboratory (IRB Barcelona) has published a study on the source of asymmetry between nucleic acid hybrid (RNA and DNA) in CHEM (Cell Press).

The results are a promising step towards enhancing gene therapies, which are applicable to many diseases.

<p>The androgen receptor helix of polyglutamine becomes increasingly stable as the number (n) of glutamine amino acid residues increases.</p>
12 Jun 2019

Kennedy’s disease is an untreatable neuromuscular disorder considered a rare disease

A study led by Xavier Salvatella may pave the way for new lines of treatment for Kennedy’s disease

<p>Illustrated view of the different conformations adopted by a flexible small molecule. Colours represent different ensembles of conformations.</p>
6 Jun 2019

A study done by scientists at IRB Barcelona can simulate and predict the shape of a molecule in function of its environment.

These results mark a milestone for the computational design of molecules with specific shape and features for agrochemical, technological and pharmaceutical applications.