A novel role for CARD14 in prostate cancer

01 October 2021 → 30 September 2025
Funding by bilateral agreement (private and foundations)
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Cell signalling
    • Cancer biology
    • Cancer therapy
prostate cancer Signal Transduction cancer
Project description

Tumor cells have a number of characteristics that allow them to multiply rapidly and escape cell death. These cellular processes are normally tightly regulated by several intracellular signal transduction pathways, which involves multiple molecules that talk to each other in response to certain environmental changes or cell stress situations. Genetic alterations in tumor cells can affect the activity of specific signaling molecules and thus perturb normal signal transduction. Anticancer drugs that restore ‘normal’ signal transduction are therefore of high interest. However, a major hurdle is the fact that most signaling molecules also have important functions in other cells of the body, including immune cells, leading to severe side effects. Therefore, identifying cell type specific signaling molecules that mediate tumor cell growth and survival is of high interest. We have recently discovered a molecule, CARD14, that is essential for survival of prostate cancer cells and that is specifically expressed in epithelial cells, which are the cells that line the inner and outer surface of organs such as the prostate. We will use cellular models to further investigate the functional role of CARD14 signaling in the growth and migration of prostate cancer cells, as well as the underlying molecular mechanisms that regulate and mediate its activity. In this context, we already identified a novel CARD14-binding protein that is able to modify CARD14. On a longer term, we hope to use the acquired knowledge to develop novel therapeutic strategies for prostate cancer and possibly other cancers that originate in epithelial cells (known as carcinomas), such as most colon cancers, lung cancers, and breast cancers.