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Projects. Life and Matter Sciences

Pharmaco-mimetic analysis of the therapeutic value of Vav-dependent metabolic routes in breast cancer

Lead Researcher:
Xosé Ramón García Bustelo

Research Centre:
Centro de Investigación del Cáncer de Salamanca.


Xosé Ramón García BusteloTumour cells manipulate their metabolism to generate the energy and basic structural elements that they need to continue growing. These routes are also used to produce secondary messengers which, in turn, mediate the activation of signalling pathways and biological processes that cooperate with the tumoral process. These metabolic changes are activated in the majority of cases by the specific deregulation of proto-oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes. Recent research in our laboratory has revealed that Vav family oncogenes, a group of enzymes involved in the stimulation of GTPasas Rho/Rac, all use stimulation of several metabolic routes including, for example, ribogenesis, metabolite transport through membranes and the anabolism of different types of lipids, nucleotides and other basic cell components. This metabolic component seems to be essential, given that it is present in several Vav-dependent tumours such as those of the breast and skin. In this project we propose to use functional tracking and pharmaco-mimetic approaches to characterise the therapeutic value of this metabolic "core" in primary tumorigenesis and metastasis in breast cancer. The proposed study design will make it possible to obtain a clear view of the participation of these routes in malign processes associated with breast cancer, and above all, to identify therapeutic targets of interest in pre-clinical and clinical tumoral stages. The work will also include in silico approaches to identify genetic signatures with diagnostic value in breast cancer.

Researcher's web address:

Xosé Ramón García Bustelo

Doctor of Biology in the University of Santiago and currently CSIC Research Professor in the Cancer Research Centre, Salamanca. Prior to this position he was Assistant Professor in the State University of New York. Dr. Bustelo's research centres on the study of oncogenic proteins in cellular signalling processes and tumorigenic processes. His most outstanding contributions include the discovery of the Vav family of oncoproteins, their activation mechanism and the role that these oncoproteins play in physiological processes and the development and malignity of several types of cancer. His work has also established connections that were previously unknown between these protumorigenic routes and the development of other very common disorders such as hypertension, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and obesity. His work has won several scientific awards, such as the Catacosinos Young Investigator Award for Cancer Research, the Baldwin Award for Breast Cancer Research, the Sinsheimer Award for Cancer Research, the Premio Nacional de Oncología de la Fundación Echevarne, the Premio Científico de la Fundación Mútua Madrileña, the Pfizer Foundation Research Prize and the "Severo Ochoa" prize of the Fundación Ferrer.

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