Laboratori de Dinàmica Metabòlica del CàncerGroups, units and services of the UB
Cancer cells need to readjust their metabolism to obtain the energy and metabolites required to fulfill both energetic and anabolic demands and sustain a high rate of cell growth and division. Despite being previously thought to be a mere consequence of a faster proliferation, recent work has shown that this metabolic reprogramming is a fundamental trait of all cancer cells and it is directly regulated by oncogenes and tumor suppressors. In line with this, specific metabolic adaptations of tumor cells are required for tumorigenesis and, thus, metabolic reprogramming has been upgraded to be a hallmark of cancer. However, whether this metabolic switch can drive tumorigenesis remains as yet poorly understood. Furthermore, despite many efforts made to identify metabolic properties of cancer cells, there is a complete lack of understanding of the metabolic heterogeneity and evolution of cancer, its biological consequences, and the precise molecular mechanisms driving this metabolic reprogramming.
Our laboratory aims to study the metabolic regulation of cancer and its regulatory mechanisms, by focusing on the study of the metabolic requirements of cancer cells during tumor initiation and progression, and the functional interplay between metabolic reprogramming and other genetic and epigenetic programs involved in different stages of the tumorigenic process. Specifically, our research lines include:
-Metabolic regulation of stem cell fate during tissue homeostasis and tumorigenesis
-Metabolic heterogeneity and evolution of cancer
-Immunometabolism in the tumor microenvironment
These studies will provide a comprehensive picture of the step-wise contribution of metabolic reprogramming to tumorigenesis, which will be used to design new therapeutic approaches targeting metabolic pathways.