DNA Replication Group

Home | Research & Innovation | Scientific Programmes | Molecular Oncology Programme | DNA Replication Group

Staff Scientists

Post-Doctoral Fellows

  • Estrella Guarino
  • Sergio Muñoz

Graduate Students

  • Elena Blanco
  • Roberto Masdemont
  • Sergi Roig
  • Patricia Ubieto

The process of DNA replication is responsible for many of the genomic alterations underlying the activation of oncogenes or the inactivation of tumour suppressor genes. While some of these alterations are inherent to life, e.g. the introduction of mutations due to DNA polymerase errors, others are caused by environmental agents – UV light, ionising radiation, toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke, and other pollutants – that induce chemical modifications in the DNA and complicate its replication. The capacity to generate difficult-to-replicate DNA modifications, e.g. covalent links between the two strands of the double helix, is the basis for the cytotoxic effect of cisplatin and other drugs used in cancer therapy. Our laboratory studies how the ‘replisome’ machinery is capable of operating through these lesions, a step that normally leads to the activation of specific DNA repair pathways. In 2020 we focused on the study of the PrimPol enzyme that mediates the replicative tolerance of DNA crosslinks generated by common chemotherapy agents.