Biotechnology Programme

Proteomics Core Unit

Head of Unit:  Javier Muñoz
Research highlights

In 2017, the Unit introduced a new immuno-purification approachto profile lysine acetylation in cells and tissues (Martinez-Val et al.).This method is being used to study the effects of several inhibitorsagainst deacetylases and their effect in cancer. Furthermore, incollaboration with the Brain Metastasis Group, we are exploringultra-sensitive proteomic strategies to analyse metastatic brainlesions obtained from micro-dissected tissues. In addition, wehave conducted a large phosphoproteomic analysis to identifypossible genes involved in certain platelet activation defects (incollaboration with the Cell Division and Cancer Group). Together with the Tumour Suppression Group, we are dissecting at the molecular level the transition of primed embryonic stem cells(ESCs) into the ground-state of pluripotency. The results of this project show that targeting the transcriptional regulatorMediator, shifts ESCs towards a state that significantly resemblesthat of naïve ESCs. On a different note, a lot of the evidence showsthat the proteins secreted into the extracellular space, or evenencapsulated in micro-vesicles such as exosomes, have importantorganotropic effects in cancer and most importantly in metastasis.Bearing this in mind, we are mining the secretomes of different types of samples in order to identify potential new biomarkers and molecular targets. Indeed, in collaboration with the MelanomaGroup, we have identified the protein Midkine as a systemic inducer of neo-lymphangiogenesis, which defines the prognosis of melanoma patients (Olmeda et al.). Finally, in collaboration with the Technical University of Dresden, we are performing several proteomic analyses on stomach organoids carrying different sets of cancer-inducing mutations in order to study their applicability as a novel platform for drug screening