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Wagner E.F.,Spanish National Cancer Center
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2010

The Fos and Jun proteins are members of the AP-1 transcription factor complex, which is a central regulator for many cellular functions. This paper summarises the important functions of Fos proteins in bone development, with special emphasis on the Fos-related proteins Fra-1 and Fra-2. These factors determine the functions of osteoblasts and osteoclasts and regulate cytokine signalling during bone development. Likewise, the Jun proteins control the expression of cytokines and chemokines and are probably causally involved in inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis. Investigations into the molecular mechanisms responsible for skin inflammation have revealed that Jun proteins control cytokine expression, such as granulocyte colonystimulating factor, IL-6 and tumour necrosis factor alpha by transcriptional and posttranscriptional pathways. Finally, the paper discusses the relevance of the Jundependent mouse model for psoriasis for preclinical studies in the field of anti-angiogenic therapies. Source


Cuadrado A.,Spanish National Cancer Center | Nebreda A.R.,Spanish National Cancer Center
Biochemical Journal | Year: 2010

The p38 MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) signalling pathway allows cells to interpret a wide range of external signals and respond appropriately by generating a plethora of different biological effects. The diversity and specificity in cellular outcomes is achieved with an apparently simple linear architecture of the pathway, consisting of a core of three protein kinases acting sequentially. In the present review, we dissect the molecular mechanisms underlying p38 MAPK functions, with special emphasis on the activation and regulation of the core kinases, the interplay with other signalling pathways and the nature of p38 MAPK substrates as a source of functional diversity. Finally, we discuss how genetic mouse models are facilitating the identification of physiological functions for p38 MAPKs, which may impinge on their eventual use as therapeutic targets. © The Authors. Source


Petrova E.,Spanish National Cancer Center | Soldini D.,University of Zurich | Moreno E.,Spanish National Cancer Center | Moreno E.,University of Bern
Communicative and Integrative Biology | Year: 2011

In Drosophila, the elimination of viable but suboptimal cells is mediated by cell competition, ensuring that these cells do not accumulate during development. In addition, certain genes such as the Drosophila homologue of human c-myc (dmyc) are able to transform cells into supercompetitors, which eliminate neighboring wild-type cells by apoptosis and overproliferate leaving total cell numbers unchanged. We have recently identified Drosophila SPARC as an early marker transcriptionally upregulated in loser cells that provides a transient protection by inhibiting caspase activation in outcompeted cells. Here, we explore whether the expression of SPARC in human tumors is consistent with a role for cell competition during human cancer and find that, consistent with the existence of competitive interactions between cancer and normal cells, SPARC is upregulated at the tumor-host boundaries in several types of human cancer. © 2011 Landes Bioscience. Source


Rueda O.M.,Spanish National Cancer Center | Rueda O.M.,Cancer Research UK | Diaz-Uriarte R.,Spanish National Cancer Center
Current Bioinformatics | Year: 2010

Copy number alterations (CNA) in genomic DNA are linked to a variety of human diseases. Although many methods have been developed to analyze data from a single subject, disease-critical genes are more likely to be found in regions that are common or recurrent among diseased subjects. Unfortunately, finding recurrent CNA regions remains a challenge. We review existing methods for the identification of recurrent CNA regions. Methods differ in their working definition of "recurrent region", the type of input data, the statistical and computational methods used to identify recurrence, and the biological considerations they incorporate (which play a role in the identification of "interesting" regions and in the details of null models used to assess statistical significance). Very few approaches use and/or return probabilities, and code is not easily available for several methods. We emphasize that, when analyzing data from complex diseases with significant among-subject heterogeneity, methods should be able to identify CNAs that affect only a subset of subjects. We suggest that finding recurrent CNAs would benefit from clearly specifying the types of pattern to be detected and the intended usage of the regions found (CNA association with disease, CNA effects on gene expression, clustering of subjects). We finish with suggestions for further methodological research. © 2010 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd. Source


Portela M.,Spanish National Cancer Center | Casas-Tinto S.,Spanish National Cancer Center | Rhiner C.,Spanish National Cancer Center | Rhiner C.,University of Bern | And 5 more authors.
Developmental Cell | Year: 2010

During development and aging, animals suffer insults that modify the fitness of individual cells. In Drosophila, the elimination of viable but suboptimal cells is mediated by cell competition, ensuring that these cells do not accumulate during development. In addition, certain genes such as the Drosophila homolog of human c-myc (dmyc) are able to transform cells into supercompetitors, which eliminate neighboring wild-type cells by apoptosis and overproliferate, leaving total cell numbers unchanged. Here we have identified Drosophila Sparc as an early marker transcriptionally upregulated in loser cells that provides a transient protection by inhibiting Caspase activation in outcompeted cells. Overall, we describe the unexpected existence of a physiological mechanism that counteracts cell competition during development. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. Source

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