Dr Alejandra Bruna

University of Cambridge

University departments
Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute

Position: senior postdoc
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PubMed journal articles - click here

Research description

We aimed to study the effects of the TGF-beta pathway in breast cancer stem cell (BCSC) regulation. To define a role of the TGF-beta pathway in the regulation of human BCSCs, we have analyzed a panel of breast cancer cell lines that represent the molecular heterogeneity present in primary tumors. In vitro and in vivo assays showed that TGF-beta differentially regulates BCSCs populations of cell lines from different transcriptional profile clusters (Neve et al. 2006). A transcriptomic approach was performed to identify a TGF-beta self-renewal promoting gene signature. An integrated bioinformatic analysis found this signature to be a prognostic pathway signature in ER-/basal human breast cancer. We are now focusing on trying to unravel the underlying molecular mechanisms of the dual effects of TGF-beta in BCSCs.

Research Programme or Virtual Institute
Breast Cancer Virtual Institute
Recent publications:
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Key publications

Bruna A. et al. A hyperactive TGF-beta-Smad pathway confers poor prognosis in patients with glioma and promotes cell proliferation through the induction of PDGF-B in tumors with an unmethylated PDGF-B gene. Cancer Cell. 11, 147-160 (2007) Bruna A. et al. Glucocorticoid receptor-JNK interaction mediates inhibition of the JNK pathway by glucocorticoids. EMBO J.; 22 (22) :6035-6044 (2003) E.G. Jorda et al. Neuroprotective effects of flvopiridol, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, in colchicine-induce apoptosis. Neuropharmacology; 45(5):672-83 (2003) Caelles C et al. Glucocorticoid receptor antagonism of AP-1 activity by inhibition of MAPK family. Ernst Schering Res.Found Workshop.; (40):131-52. (2002)