De la Luna Lab
Gene Regulation, Stem Cells and Cancer
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1989 Ph.D. in Biology, Centro de Biología Molecular-CBM, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain).
1990-1992 Postdoctoral position, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología-CNB, Madrid (Spain).
1993-1996 Posdoctoral position, National Institute for Medical Research-NIMR/MRC, London (United Kingdom).
1996-1998 Posdoctoral position, Department of Biochemistry-IBSL, University of Glasgow (United Kingdom).
1999-2001 Research position, Institut de Recerca Oncològica-IRO, Barcelona (Spain).
2001 ICREA Research Professor and Group Leader at the Center for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona (Spain).
A potential therapeutic target in the most frequent type of pancreatic cancer is identified (22/11/2018)
Researchers from the IDIBAPS and the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) have published an article in the Gut journal in which they identify a protein as a possible therapeutic target in the most frequent type of pancreatic cancer.
Protein kinases are central to all cellular processes in eukaryotes, and often linked to disease in humans when their activation and/or expression is altered. Our group is interested in a family of protein kinases known as DYRK (dual-specificity tyrosine-regulated kinases), whose members participate in the regulation of critical processes important for cellular viability and homeostasis. Members of the DYRK family are found in four of the five main taxa (animalia, plantae, fungi and protista), and all DYRK proteins studied to date share common structural, biochemical and functional properties with the ancestral forms represented by yeast. In mammals, there are 5 DYRK proteins (DYRK1A, DYRK1B, DYRK2, DYRK3 and DYRK4) with a highly similar kinase domain. However, very little is known on the molecular determinants defining commonalities and differences among the DYRK human kinases. What is known is that dysregulation of DYRKs leads to disease in humans. For instance, DYRK1A overexpression in Down syndrome (DS) individuals correlates with a wide range of the DS pathological phenotypes. In addition, truncating mutations in one DYRK1A allele have been described in patients with general growth retardation and severe primary microcephaly, defining a rare clinical syndrome. These findings highlight the extreme dosage sensitivity of this gene, whose activity has been also associated to tumor progression.
The group thus aims to dissect how DYRK activities are linked to human pathology. We are particularly interested on the DYRK-associated activities that impact on the regulation of gene expression programs either directly through their recruitment to chromatin or indirectly through modulation of specific signaling pathways.