Genomic instability in the Lopez-Contreras Group

The main goal of our lab is to identify and characterize novel proteins involved in maintaining genome stability. We hope that the knowledge generated will serve to open new therapeutic opportunities for cancer and aging. 

Genomic instability in the Lopez-Contreras Group

Research focus

We use different models to approach our scientific questions. On one hand, we develop large scale screens, both genetic and with small molecules. On the other hand, we use mice to model the most relevant factors and to better investigate its relevance in a physiological context, and in relation to disease.

Main findings

We have generated the first mouse model deficient for PICH, which is a protein involved in chromosomal segregation. With this mouse model we have learned that:

  • PICH is essential to safeguard chromosomal instability during embryonic development.

  • PICH deficiency limits tumorigenesis in a cellular transformation system.

  • PICH heterozygous mice are born at sub-Mendelian ratios and show signs of fertility alterations.

Selected projects

Exploring the impact of Replication Stress on Ageing and Cancer

This project was financed from the Danish National Research Program “Sapere Aude – DFF Starting Grant”. We investigate whether a supraphysiological protection against replication stress can extend lifespan.

Identification of novel targets for the BRCA1 ubiquitin ligase activity

This project is funded by a KBVU Project from the Danish Cancer Society. We perform proteomics analysis to identify novel interactors and targets of the breast cancer tumor suppressor BRCA1.

Chromosomal Common Fragile Sites (CFS): Unravelling their biological functions and the basis of their instability

This project is funded by the European Research Council. We investigate novel regulators of CFS stability and consequences of CFS deletions in physiological conditions.