Non-Coding RNA and Cancer Genome

"We investigated how lncRNAs contribute to the mechanisms of gene expression regulation in cancer cells."

DR. MAITE HUARTE
RESEARCHER. NON-CODING RNA AND CANCER GENOME GROUP

In recent years there has been a major change in the conception of genome regulation. We now know that most of the cell's transcripts are generated from "non-conventional" genes that do not encode proteins, and a very significant part of them give rise to long non-coding RNA molecules (lncRNAs). Despite not coding for proteins, lncRNAs regulate genome functions and gene expression, and their alterations are inherent to diseases. 

The Cima Non-Coding RNA and Cancer Genome Group focuses its efforts on understanding how lncRNAs influence the regulation, propagation, and expression of the genome of cells, and how their functions are altered in cancer. This will help develop better therapies and diagnostics for this disease.

Our research combines the application of genomics, epigenomics, and molecular biology techniques with the analysis of patient samples. 

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Objectives of our research

To deepen the knowledge of the functions of lncRNAs and their molecular mechanisms.

Identify novel lncRNAs and their linkage to cancer.

Contribute to the development of improved cancer therapies and diagnostics based on lncRNAs.

FROM THE LABORATORY TO THE CLINIC

Role of lncRNAs in cancer

Our group has found that lncRNAs have critical functions associated with tumor suppressor or oncogenic genes, such as p53 or MYC, playing a key role in tumor transformation.

We have recently identified a new lncRNA called ALAL-1 that helps lung cancer cells evade the immune system. The blockade of ALAL-1 could drive anti-tumor therapies for these patients.

Meet the research team

Scientific activity of the Long Non-Coding RNAs
and Cancer Regulation Group