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Published: 2019-11-26

Doctoral thesis: Growth factor signaling cross-talk contribute to cancer progression

NEWS Functional cross-talk between growth factor signalling is essential for growth and development. In cancer, due to aberrant signalling, the synergistic cross-talk between the proteins contributes to cancer progression. The biological functions of the cross-talk between proteins in Wnt, TGF-β and HIF signalling, which contributes to cancer progression. This is shown by Karthik Aripaka in his doctoral thesis in pathology that he will defend on 29 November.

Text: Ola Nilsson

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer and one of the foremost leading cancer-related deaths in men in the world. As long as cancer does not metastases beyond the prostate gland, can be treated successfully with radiation, medicine or surgery. It is essential to understand the mechanisms by which cancer occurs and how it becomes invasive and metastasise.

In his thesis, in one of the study, Karthik Aripaka and the research group have elucidated intriguing functions for TRAF6 as a coregulatory factor for the expression of Wnt target genes. They have confirmed in vivo by using CRISPR/Cas9 genomic editing, in zebrafish. TRAF6 is already known to be a driver of inflammatory processes and an adapter protein which drives the proteins to perform several functions. They have shown that Wnt3a promotes TRAF6 interaction with Wnt components and promotes the progression of prostate cancer through its positive effects on Wnt3a signalling.

Renal cell carcinoma, malignant cancer arising in renal parenchyma and renal pelvis and, hypoxia plays a vital role in its progression. RCC is the 11th most common type of cancer in Sweden, and in 2018, approximately 629 disease-related deaths were reported.

In another study, the critical aspects is explained of cross-talk between TGF-β signalling and hypoxia pathway, and also the novel finding of an interaction between ALK5 and HIF-α might provide a more in-depth understanding of mechanisms behind Renal cell carcinoma progression. The research group will also continue working on to understand the role of HIF-3α in the progression of renal cell carcinoma.

Karthik Aripaka has previously finished a Masters in Molecular genetics at Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India.

Read the doctoral thesis

About the public defence of the doctoral thesis

Karthik Aripaka, Department of Medical Biosciences, Friday 29 November defends his doctoral thesis Studies on the biological functions of interaction between components in Wnt, TGF-β and HIF pathways for cancer progression. Faculty opponent Lars-Gunnar Larsson, Karolinska Institutet. Principal supervisor Marene Landström. Location: Major Groove, building 6L, University Hospital, Umeå. Time: 13.00.