Signalling pathways involved in cancer transformation, progression and resistance to therapy
The adaptor protein p130Cas has been described as a scaffold protein crucial for the regulation and integration of cell signaling pathways that regulate cell proliferation, survival and motility. There is a growing interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms through which p130Cas affects breast cancer onset and progression. In particular, our group has demonstrated that p130Cas has a crucial role during the development and tumorigenesis of the mammary gland. Specifically, we demonstrated that p130Cas is required both in ErbB2-dependent tumorigenesis. Furthermore, p130Cas is involved in the progression of breast cancer over-expressing ErbB2 by promoting invasion and metastasis.
Our current research is focused on the understanding of the following aspects:
(i) the mechanisms through which p130Cas regulates invasion and epithelial-mesenchymal transition of breast cancer cells
(ii) the role of p130Cas in the population of cancer stem cells expressing ErbB2
(iii) the involvement of p130Cas in the mechanisms regulating resistance to tumor drugs
(iv) understanding the mechanisms that leads to p130Cas overexpression in several types of human tumors.