News from IMIM
Researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), lead by Lluís Espinosa, have identified a new function of the IkBa protein that is key in the development of squamous-cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. The study has been published in the prestigious journal Cancer Cell and provides a new tool for the diagnosis of the disease and, in the future, will enable the identification of novel therapeutic targets to treat this type of cancer.
Until now, the only known function of the protein IkBa was in the cytoplasm where it inhibits the NF-kB factor, a protein complex that is involved in the immune response. Now the researchers have discovered that in the nucleus of keratinocytes, the typical skin cells, and also in the nucleus of fibroblasts, there is a different form of IkBa that results from its binding to another molecule called Sumo (leading to the Sumo-IkBa protein) that had been previously observed by other groups, but no function had been adscribed.
Reference article: “Chromatin-bound IκBα regulates a subset of Polycombtarget genes in differentiation and cancer”. María Carmen Mulero, Dolors Ferres-Marco, Abul Islam, Pol Margalef, Matteo Pecoraro, Agustí Toll, Nils Drechsel, Cristina Charneco, Shelly Davis, Nicolás Bellora, Fernando Gallardo, Erika López-Arribillaga, Elena Asensio-Juan, Verónica Rodilla, Jessica González, Mar Iglesias, Vincent Shih, M. Mar Albà, Luciano Di Croce, Alexander Hoffmann, Shigeki Miyamoto, Jordi Villà-Freixa, Nuria López-Bigas, William M. Keyes, María Domínguez, Anna Bigas and Lluís Espinosa. Cancer Cell.
More information: IMIM press release