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Research

 

The scientific efforts of the MCAC Group are focused on the isolation and functional characterization of genes and/or signalling networks which are implicated in ageing and age-related diseases (mainly cancer). We are particularly interested on the cell signalling pathways and molecular mechanisms involved in proteome maintenance, stability and repair (e.g. antioxidant responses, molecular chaperones and main proteolytic systems), as well as on their alterations and functional implication in ageing and carcinogenesis. Specifically, on-going research refers to molecular chaperons, antioxidant responses pathways and to the main proteolytic systems (proteasome, lysosome) functional implication in processes which are central in ageing and cancer, namely, cell signalling, cell cycle regulation, apoptosis execution and genome or proteome damage responses. Additional areas of research involve the identification of natural and/or synthetic bioactive compounds with anti-ageing or anti-cancer activity, as well as the understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in cancer cells resistance acquisition to chemotherapeutic drugs. Our cell-based experimental models include several normal or genetically modified cell lines of mouse or human origin which are possessed by MCAC, while for in vivo studies we are employing Drosophila flies, transgenesis in mice or studies on selected human cohorts.  Technologies applied by the Group include a wide range of molecular-cellular biology and analytical biochemistry techniques, insect and mammalian cells culture, high throughput assays for transcriptome or proteome analyses, cell imaging by advanced Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy, state-of-the-art conventional and cryo-immuno-Electron Microscopy, etc. The MCAC group is currently expanding its technological interests and expertise by establishing collaborative links in the fields of protein structural analysis; screening of compounds with anti-ageing or anti-cancer activity and transgenesis in flies and mice.

Group of “Molecular-Cellular Ageing and Carcinogenesis (MCAC)”