Understanding the adaptive responses developed by cancer cells during tumour progression and relapse should allow the development of novel therapeutic strategies against cancer. Cancer cells adapt to changing microenvironments (involving nutrient and/or oxygen deprivation) through the activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR) and autophagy. These processes are also highly relevant in terms of chemoresistance and recurrence. The group works on Glioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumour characterized by fast growth, high invasivity and resistance to treatment. Currently they are addressing how interfering with the the UPR and deregulating macroautophagy affects cell proliferation and survival, in vitro and in vivo, to devise possible new anti-tumoural strategies. The group uses primary cultures established from tumour biopsies and biochemical, cell and molecular biology techniques, together with gene silencing and calcium imaging.
Inhibition of WNT-CTNNB1 signaling upregulates SQSTM1 and sensitizes glioblastoma cells to autophagy blockers. Nàger M, Sallán MC, Visa A, Pushparaj C, Santacana M, Macià A, Yeramian A, Cantí C, Herreros J. Autophagy. 2018 Feb 21:1-18. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2017.1423439.