Tumor Biology, Mouse Genetics
The research focus of the Diefenbacher lab is the deregulation of protein turnover as a central driver in tumourigenesis. E3 ubiquitin ligases are mutated or lost in a high proportion of human tumours. These proteins exert their function by regulating the protein stability, and thereby the abundance, of essential transcription factors, which also function as potent proto-oncogenes, like MYC, JUN, NICD1, CCNE1 and p63/∆Np63. We are interested in two main tumour types: lung- and colorectal cancer. By utilising in vitro and in vivo models we aim to understand the consequences of loss/mutation of key components of the ubiquitylation machinery and ways to counteract deregulation of protein stability as a therapeutic approach.