Projects

Influence of hypoxia on colon cancer stem cells: relevance of epigenetics and metabolomics,

  • Fondation Cancer (04/13-03/14)
  • PI: E. Letellier & Serge Haan

The role of the regulatory proteins of the SOCS family for the pathogenesis of colorectal carcinoma

  • Fondation Cancer (F1R-LSC-PAU-09RPRS, 09/09-09/11) ongoing
  • PI: Serge Haan 

This project is supported by the Fondation Cancer. The initial project focusses on the role of the negative regulators of the SOCS family in colorectal carcinoma. It encompasses analyses using colon cancer cell lines as well as primary patient material. We use state-of-the-art techniques of modern biology as well as bioinformatics in order to dissect the mechanisms underlying colorectal carcinoma and to identify potential new markers for this disease. The project is performed in cooperation with the Laboratoire National de Santé (LNS), the Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg (IBBL), the CRP-Santé and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Cancer Research (Vienna). We are currently extending our colon cancer research topic to the investigation of the oncogenic properties of colon cancer stem like cells.

 

Investigation of oncogenic signaling pathways initiated by mutated PDGFR and KIT kinases  

  • University of Luxembourg project (F1R-LSC-PUL-11PDGF, 02/09-09/14)
  • PI: Serge Haan     

The project is supported by a grant from the University of Luxembourg and focusses on the role of mutated receptor tyrosine kinases in gastrointestinal tumours. We compare the signalling capacities and biological responses of various mutants of the PDGFR/cKIT family that were identified in patients suffering from gastrointestinal stromal tumours. Combining bioinformatics and modern biology/biochemistry, we aim at dissecting differences in signal transduction mechanisms and biological responses in order to understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie the oncogenic potential of these mutated kinases. The ultimate goal is the identification of new targets with potential future diagnostic, predictive or therapeutic value. The project is performed in cooperation with the CRP-Santé and the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) and also involves international partners such as PamGene International B.V. and Harvard University.     

 

The Jak/STAT/SOCS pathway and its role in health and disease (e.g. inflammation and cancer)

We have been investigating the molecular mechanism of the Jak/STAT/SOCS signalling pathway for over 10 years. Our research was supported by grants from the European Commission, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Serono GmbH, the University of Luxembourg and the Fondation Cancer. In addition to the current investigation on the role of SOCS proteins in colorectal carcinoma, we are interested in the effects of activating mutations within the Janus kinases as well as the constitutive activation of STAT factors in disease.

 

Cross-talk of cytokine signal transduction with growth factor signalling

We are currently investigating a cross-talk mechanism between the inflammatory cytokine Interleukin-6 and the platelet-derived growth factors (PDGF). This project was initially supported by the German Research Foundation and is now continued at the University of Luxembourg. The project is performed in cooperation with the Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg.

 

Interleukin-27 and its biological effects

Interleukin-27 (IL-27) is a type-I-cytokine belonging to the IL-6/IL-12 superfamily of cytokines. It is predominantly secreted by activated macrophages and dendritic cells and has profound effects on T-cells and other immune cells. We recently described that IL-27 also acts on hepatocytes and hepatic stellate cells and we currently study its effects on other cell-types. The project involves a cooperation with the Rudolf-Virchow-Centre for Exp. Biomedicine (Würzburg).