Junior Group Leader
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (Helmholtz Association)
Metastasis is the most common and severe complication arising in cancer patients. A question in this field that is still very much open, is how a primary cancer cell acquires metastatic traits and what are the molecular events governing this process.
Our research activity is to identify the main drivers of metastasis and clarifying their mechanisms of action. This information would enable:
- identifying high-risk patients, and
- design patient-tailored therapies.
We study this topic in a mouse model for lung cancer, which is the most common cancer in the western world and death by lung cancer is often caused by metastases.
We are interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms underpinning lung cancer dissemination to distal organs. While next generation sequencing technologies allowed to better understand the genetic basis of cancer, discriminating alterations that are driving the processes of tumor evolution from passenger mutations still remains a major challenge. Moreover, extensive sequencing efforts of evolving primary and secondary tumors indicate that cancer genomes can be extremely complex and patients’ specific. Genetic screens represent powerful tools for identifying causal genes in various hallmarks of cancer progression. To address this topic, we are exploiting in vivo CRISPR-Cas9 screening strategies with dedicated and validated lung cancer animal models.
Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC)
- Sonia Kertalli, phD candidate BSIO
- Jikke Wieriks, Erasmus student Avans University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands
- Marialucia Massaro, Erasmus student University of Trento, Italy
- Serresi, M., Kertalli, S., Li, L., Schmitt, M. J., Dramaretska, Y., Wierikx, J., Hulsman, D., & Gargiulo, G. (2021). Functional antagonism of chromatin modulators regulates epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Science advances, 7(9), eabd7974.
- Schmitt, M. J., Company, C., Dramaretska, Y., Barozzi, I., Göhrig, A., Kertalli, S., Großmann, M., Naumann, H., Sanchez-Bailon, M. P., Hulsman, D., Glass, R., Squatrito, M., Serresi, M., & Gargiulo, G. (2021). Phenotypic Mapping of Pathologic Cross-Talk between Glioblastoma and Innate Immune Cells by Synthetic Genetic Tracing. Cancer discovery, 11(3), 754–777.
- Serresi, M., Siteur, B., Hulsman, D., Company, C., Schmitt, M. J., Lieftink, C., Morris, B., Cesaroni, M., Proost, N., Beijersbergen, R. L., van Lohuizen, M., & Gargiulo, G. (2018). Ezh2 inhibition in Kras-driven lung cancer amplifies inflammation and associated vulnerabilities. The Journal of experimental medicine, 215(12), 3115–3135.
- Gargiulo, G., Citterio, E., & Serresi, M. (2016). Polycomb and lung cancer: When the dosage makes the (kind of) poison. Molecular & cellular oncology, 3(3), e1152345.
- Serresi, M., Gargiulo, G., Proost, N., Siteur, B., Cesaroni, M., Koppens, M., Xie, H., Sutherland, K. D., Hulsman, D., Citterio, E., Orkin, S., Berns, A., & van Lohuizen, M. (2016). Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 Is a Barrier to KRAS-Driven Inflammation and Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer. Cancer cell, 29(1), 17–31.
- Gargiulo, G., Serresi, M., Cesaroni, M., Hulsman, D., & van Lohuizen, M. (2014). In vivo shRNA screens in solid tumors. Nature protocols, 9(12), 2880–2902.
- Gargiulo, G., Cesaroni, M., Serresi, M., de Vries, N., Hulsman, D., Bruggeman, S. W., Lancini, C., & van Lohuizen, M. (2013). In vivo RNAi screen for BMI1 targets identifies TGF-β/BMP-ER stress pathways as key regulators of neural- and malignant glioma-stem cell homeostasis. Cancer cell, 23(5), 660–676.