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Molekulare Medizin

Forschungsinteressen (nur englisch)

Molekulare Medizin - Research Interests

Cancer Invasion and Metastasis

 

Coordinator of the Collaborative Research Center 850 "Control of Cell Motility in Morphogenesis, Cancer Invasion and Metastasis"

Project B7 – Impact of Cancer- and Stroma-Cell Derived Endosomal/Lysosomal Proteases on Invasion and Metastasis of Mammary Cancer (Reinheckel, Peters)

Proteolysis is a hallmark process during invasion and metastasis of solid cancers. The expression of the cysteine-type proteases cathepsin B and cathepsin X are correlated to poor prognosis of cancer patients and genetic deficiency of these enzymes in cancer mice results in reduced tumor and metastatic burden. However, causal insights into the in vivo functions of cathepsins B and X in tumor progression are still missing. We will identify the cell types and the molecular networks in which cathepsins B and X are critical for cancer cell invasion and metastasis in a mouse model of breast cancer.

 


 

BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies

From Analysis to Synthesis
 
BIOSS Area B: Supra-cellular Signalling Pathways
 
BIOSS During development, growth, and regeneration, complex signalling environments recruit cells from stem cell pools, direct their differentiation paths, and organise them in 3D into specialized organ structures. Research in BIOSS-B focuses
on molecular nature, organization, and logic of these signalling systems.
 

Microenvironment remodeling by the degradome of breast cancer stem cells (link)

PD Dr. Thomas Reinheckel, Prof. Dr. Christoph Peters, Dr. Oliver Schilling (Institute of Molecular Medicine and Cell Research)

Carcinomas contain cell populations with stem cell properties that are critical for tumor growth, tumor spread, and colonization of distant sites. Proteolysis is a hallmark feature of invasive growth and metastasis – thus we aim to functionally characterize the degradome, i.e. the complement of proteases and their endogenous protease inhibitors, of cancer stem cells in its ability to remodel the microenvironment of those cells. To this end, the processing of ECM proteins by surface-bound or secreted proteases of stem cells and the functional implication of these cleavage events will be studied in stem cell culture and in vivo by orthotopic transplantation of cancer stem cells with genetic or pharmacologic perturbation of the protease network.

 

Implementation of the BIOSS Cancer Monitor (link)

Dr. Tilman Brummer (Institute for Molecular Medicine and Cell Research)
Dr. Roland Nitschke (ZBSA, Life Imaging Centre)
Prof. Christoph Peters (Institute for Molecular Medicine and Cell Research)
Prof. Wilfried Weber (BIOSS and Institute of Biology II)

Tumour progression is not only caused by dysregulated intracellular signalling, but also by altered interaction of cells with their environment. Importantly, these processes are connected to each other as alterations of signaling and metabolic pathways caused by oncogenic events within the tumour cell contribute to the establishment and dynamic remodelling of the tumor microenvironment, e.g. by inducing proteolytic activities and secreting signaling molecules that address stromal, endothelial and immune cells. Indeed, the tumour microenvironment has drastic effects on the establishment and progression of a tumour. For example, depending on the tumour microenvironment, the immune system can either suppress or promote tumour development. In this project, we want to combine our expertise in 3D cell cultures and material engineering to obtain novel insights by re-building the tumour microenvironment in a well-defined experimental setting that also allows its multi-parameter monitoring in real time.

 

Identification of kinases driving the metastatic behaviour of breast cancer(link)

Dr. Tilman Brummer, Prof. Thomas Reinheckel, Prof. Christoph Peters
(Institute for Molecular Medicine and Cell Research)

Tumour progression is not only caused by dysregulated intracellular signalling, but also by altered interaction of cells with their environment. Importantly, these processes are connected to each other as alterations of signaling and metabolic pathways caused by oncogenic events within the tumour cell contribute to the establishment and dynamic remodelling of the tumor microenvironment, e.g. by inducing proteolytic activities and secreting signaling molecules that address stromal, endothelial and immune cells. Indeed, the tumour microenvironment has drastic effects on the establishment and progression of a tumour. For example, depending on the tumour microenvironment, the immune system can either suppress or promote tumour development. In this project, we want to combine our expertise in 3D cell cultures and material engineering to obtain novel insights by re-building the tumour microenvironment in a well-defined experimental setting that also allows its multi-parameter monitoring in real time.

 
       
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