EGF/IGF signaling in breast cancer pathogenesis
Greece (HelMSIC) - University of Crete, Heraklion
Laboratory of Histology-Embryology, Department of Morphology, School of Medicine
Professor George Tzanakakis
Professor (Assistant) Dragana Nikitovic
4 weeks
Cities/Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Augt Sep Oct Nov Dec
No No No No Yes No No No No No No No
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
The consecutive stages of cancer growth and dissemination are obligatorily perpetrated through specific interactions of the tumor cells with their microenvironment. Importantly, cell-associated and tumor microenvironment glycosaminoglycans (GAGs)/proteoglycan (PG) content and distribution are markedly altered during tumor pathogenesis and progression. GAGs and PGs perform multiple functions in specific stages of the metastatic cascade due to their defined structure and ability to interact with both ligands and receptors regulating cancer pathogenesis. Thus, GAGs/PGs may modulate downstream signaling of key cellular mediators including insulin growth factor receptor (IGFR), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), estrogen receptors (ERs), or importantly their crosstalk. In this project we are focusing on these modulations and their effects on basic breast cancer cell functions in an effort to identify new therapy targets for this insidious disease.

Cell culture techniques, in vitro assays (proliferation, adhesion, migration), Real-time PCR, western blot and immunoflourescence will be used.

What is the aim of the project?
What techniques and methods are used?
What is the role of the student?
- The student will mainly observe
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
PCR and Culture Techniques
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- No specific outcome is expected
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
No special skills or legal limitations. Preliminary readings, lab meetings, discussions will be provided. Candidates will be able to experience the activities of basic research lab in a friendly academic settings.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
- Graduated students (less than 6 months)
- "The motile breast cancer phenotype roles of proteoglycans/glycosaminoglycans. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:124321. " Nikitovic D. Kouvidi K. Voudouri K. Berdiaki A. Karousou E. Passi A. Tzanakakis GN.
- Cross-talk between estradiol receptor and EGFR/IGF-IR signaling pathways in estrogen-responsive breast cancers: focus on the role and impact of proteoglycans. Matrix Biol. 2014 Apr;35:182-93. Skandalis SS. Afratis N. Smirlaki G. Nikitovic D. Theocharis AD. Tzanakakis GN. Karamanos NK.
- PDGF/PDGFR signaling and targeting in cancer growth and progression: Focus on tumor microenvironment and cancer-associated fibroblasts. Curr Pharm Des. 2014;20(17):2843-8. Gialeli C. Nikitovic D. Kletsas D. Theocharis AD. Tzanakakis GN. Karamanos NK.
- Could growth factor-mediated extracellular matrix deposition and degradation offer the ground for directed pharmacological targeting in fibrosarcoma?Curr Med Chem. 2013;20(23):2868-80. Nikitovic D. Berdiaki A. Banos A. Tsatsakis A. Karamanos NK. Tzanakakis GN.
- Proteoglycans/glycosaminoglycans: from basic research to clinical practice. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:295254. Tzanakakis G. Kovalszky I. Heldin P. Nikitovic D.