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CNIO Publications, Year 2018

Discovery of a new tumour suppressor previously thought to be an oncogene

Nature Communications

Discovery of a new tumour suppressor previously thought to be an oncogene

Madrid, 7 August, 2018

A gene that has for decades been considered a tumour promoter, the Plk1 gene, can also perform the exact opposite function: halting the development of cancer. This finding was made by researchers from CNIO and DKFZ, in Germany, and is being published this week in the journal Nature Communications. The role of PLK1 as a target for powerful drugs must now be reviewed since, depending on the type of tumour to be treated, it might be useful to inhibit it, or it might not. For the time being, the...

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pSTAT3+ reactive astrocytes help cancer cells to develop and grow in the brain

Nature Medicine

A new therapy proves effective against brain metastasis

Madrid, 11 June, 2018

A study published in Nature Medicine by a team led by Manuel Valiente, head of the Brain Metastasis Group at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), shows that the administration of silibinin in patients with brain metastasis reduces lesions without causing any adverse effects. This preliminary trial provides proof of concept that this compound could be a new effective and safe alternative to treat brain metastasis. “We have demonstrated, taking into account all the...

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Cohesin SA1 and SA2 have different roles in genome 3D organisation

Nature Structural and Molecular Biology

Deciphering the role of cohesin in genome 3D structure helps understanding tumour cells

Madrid, 4 June, 2018

In recent years it has become evident that the spatial organisation of the genome is key for its function. This organisation depends on a number of factors, the cohesin protein complex being one of them. This essential complex is present in the cells in two versions that contain either the SA1 or SA2 subunit. Scientists at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), and the Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico (CNAG-CRG) have addressed the...

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PanDrugs is a novel data-driven method to personalise cancer treatment

Genome Medicine

A novel data-driven method to personalise cancer treatment

Madrid, 31 May, 2018

Identify and prioritise treatment options based on a patient’s profile of genetic alterations is a major challenge in personalised cancer medicine. Data-driven approaches such as PanDrugs can help to this end. This new computational resource has been developed by researchers from the Bioinformatics Unit at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) and is described in a paper published in Genome Medicine.  A large majority of cancers carry a long list of genetic alterations...

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TERRAs, the long non-coding RNAs that protect telomeres, are important epigenetic regulators

Nature Communications

TERRA, the RNAs that protect telomeres, are important epigenetic regulators

Madrid, 18 April, 2018

In 2008, the Telomeres and Telomerase Group led by Maria A. Blasco at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) was one of the first to discover TERRAs, long non-coding telomeric RNAs that are transcribed from telomeres are are part of the telomeric chromatin. Since then, this group has set out to decipher the function of these novel and still mysterious telomeric components. In a paper published now in Nature Communications, Maria A Blasco and her collaborators Juan José Montero and...

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Tumour cells may develop resistance to potential Ras inhibitors

Genes and Development

A potential setback in the personalised medicine of cancer

Madrid, 17 April, 2018

One of the most constant and exhaustive searches in cancer research is for a treatment aimed specifically at the Ras family of genes, the most common oncogenes and those that initiate many of the most lethal tumours. However, the results of this hypothetical treatment may be far less positive than speculated due to a manuscript published in the Genes & Development journal by the Genomic Instability Group at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO). The study shows how cells are...

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Structure of R2TP observed through high resolution cryo-electron microscopy

Nature Communications

Structure of a protein complex related with cell survival revealed

Madrid, 16 April, 2018

A team from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) has determined for the first time the high-resolution structure of a complex (R2TP) involved in key processes for cell survival and in diseases such as cancer. This achievement has been made possible by using high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy, a technique brought to the CNIO thanks to Óscar Llorca, director of the Structural Biology Programme and lead author on the paper published in Nature Communications.In 2017, the Nobel...

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CAS9 (green) and GFAP (red) expression in a coronal section of a TVA/Cas9 mouse brain

Nature Communications

A novel precision cancer model opens doors to personalised cancer treatment

Madrid, 13 April, 2018

Researchers from the Seve Ballesteros Foundation-CNIO Brain Tumour Group at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) have developed an extremely powerful and versatile mouse model that will improve cancer research and accelerate pre-clinical testing of novel targeted therapies. Their work appears in Nature Communications.“A current high priority in cancer research is to functionally validate candidate genetic alterations that are relevant for cancer progression and treatment response....

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A gene that increases the risk of pancreatic cancer controls inflammation in normal tissue

Nature

A gene that increases the risk of pancreatic cancer controls inflammation in normal tissue

Madrid, 14 February, 2018

Inflammation is a defensive response of the body to aggression, but when it persists it can be harmful and can even predispose the subject to cancer. Hence, it is crucial to understand fully the relationship between inflammation and cancer. A group of researchers at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) has now discovered an unexpected link between the two processes: in the pancreas, one of the genes that increases the risk of developing pancreatic cancer also controls...

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PNAS

CNIO researchers discover a potential new therapeutic strategy for pancreatic cancer

Madrid, 1 February, 2018

In most pancreatic cancer patients, the diagnosis is made when the disease is already advanced, and there is no effective treatment at present. There have been no significant advances to combat it in recent decades and unfortunately, its occurrence is on the increase. Now, a group of researchers from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) may have found a new form of attack. “This tumour is so aggressive and so complex that it is necessary to try and attack it from various...

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Paula Martínez (left) and Maria A. Blasco (right), first authors or the paper./ CNIO

eLife

CNIO researchers cure lung fibrosis in mice with a gene therapy that lengthens telomeres

Madrid, 30 January, 2018

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a potentially lethal disease associated with the presence of critically short telomeres, currently lacking effective treatment. The Telomere and Telomerase Group at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) has succeeded in curing this disease in mice using a gene therapy that lengthens the telomeres. Their work constitutes a "proof of concept that telomerase activation represents an effective treatment against pulmonary fibrosis," the authors write...

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c-Raf ablation induces the regression of advanced lung tumours in mice

Cancer Cell

A new strategy induces the regression of advanced lung tumours in mice

Madrid, 25 January, 2018

A study published in Cancer Cell by researchers from the Molecular Oncology Programme at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) shows how the elimination of the c-Raf kinase by genetic manipulation causes the regression of Kras oncogene-driven advanced lung tumours in a genetically designed mouse model that faithfully reproduces the natural history of this tumour. It has also been shown that the elimination of the c-Raf protein produces very tolerable toxic effects. This opens up a...

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RPAP1 regulates the activity of RNA polymerase II by means of its interaction with gene transactivat

Cell Reports

The RPAP1 protein, essential for cell identity and viability

Madrid, 18 January, 2018

The regulation of the activity of RNA polymerase II, which catalyses the transcription of DNA in order to generate messenger RNA, is central to cell differentiation and the maintenance of cell identity. RPAP1 is a protein associated with this enzyme whose function in mammals was unknown up until now. A study carried out at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) in Barcelona, demonstrates its key role in establishing and preserving...

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