Signal Transduction

The Signal Transduction Group

Signal transduction at the cellular level refers to the transduction of signals from the outside of the cell to the inside. This involves the coupling of ligand-receptor interactions to intracellular events. Post-translational modifications change protein conformations and enzyme activities. The eventual outcome is an alteration in cellular activity and changes in the program of genes expressed within the responding cells.Numerous diseases are caused by a dysfunctional cellular signal transduction. The uncontrolled growth of tumor cells is caused by mutations in the genes encoding growth factors, their receptors, signal transducing enzymes (mostly kinases), and transcription factors. Moreover, deregulation of microRNAs contributes to cancer development.Recent exciting examples of successful transpositions of basic signal transduction research into clinical applications include kinase inhibitors used in tumor therapy or microRNA inhibitors used in treatment of hepatitis C patients. Thus, a thorough understanding of cellular signal transduction and its underlying molecular mechanisms is crucial for the development of novel drugs targeting cellular communication pathways.

 

 

Research Domains

Jak/STAT Reserach

  • Molecular mechanisms of cytokine signal transduction mediated by Janus kinases and STAT transcription factors
  • (Patho)physiologic consequences of Jak/STAT signaling and cross-talk with other signalling pathways (e.g. hypoxia)

 

miRNA Research

  • The role of microRNAs in cancer development and growth regulation / microRNAs as biomarkers for disease
  • Transcriptional regulation of miRNA expression
  • Data integration of genomes, transcriptomes, miRNomes