Endocytosis, Signalling and Cancer
Our multidisciplinary laboratory hosts projects in the fields of endocytosis, stem cells and functional genomics. Over recent years, ourunderstanding of endocytosis hasevolved from that of a simple process to transport molecules across the plasma membrane, to a complex program that governs cell logistics, permitting the regulation in time and space of signalling events and of multiple cellular processes required to maintain tissue homeostasis. In accordance, many functions have been attributed to endocytic proteins that are not immediately interpretable within the classical view of endocytosis and which are related to phenotypes of upmost relevance to cancer, such as stem cell self-renewal, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, and migration/invasion. The overall goal of the group is to understand the different functions carried out by the endocytic cell logistics apparatus, to define its molecular workings, and to understand how its subversion contributes to tumorigenesis and the acquisition of cancer stem cell and metastatic traits. Ultimately, we aim to exploit our basic research findings to identify novel prognostic/predictive markers and therapeutic targets.
Ongoing research projects aim to:
- Elucidate the molecular mechanisms governing endocytosis of the EGFR under physiological and pathological conditions;
- Characterize the functional involvement of endocytic (and related) proteins to cancer cell biology and the acquisition of cancer stem cell and metastatic traits;
- Characterize novel cancer markers or therapeutic targets through the identification and analysis of cancer-specific profiles;
- Validate novel cancer targets through translational studies.
Most Relevant Publications
J Cell Biol, 2018
Pre-clinical validation of a selective anti-cancer stem cell therapy for Numb-deficient human breast cancers.
EMBO Mol Med, 2017