The Department of Biomedicine

BBB seminar: Marja Jäättelä

Lysosomal control of tumor cell death

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Marja Jäättelä
Apoptosis Department and Centre for Genotoxic Stress, Institute of Cancer Biology, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark

Tumor invasion and metastasis are associated with altered lysosomal trafficking and increased expression of the lysosomal proteases termed cathepsins. Emerging experimental evidence suggest that such alterations in lysosomes may form an “Achilles heel” for cancer cells by sensitizing them to death pathways involving lysosomal membrane permeabilization and the release of cathepsins into the cytosol. Here, I will highlight recent results on cancer-related changes in the composition and function of lysosomes, focusing on possible implications for the development of novel cancer therapeutics that target tumor cell lysosomes.

Kroemer G, Jäättelä M. Lysosomes and autophagy in cell death control. Nat Rev Cancer 5:886-97, 2005

Host: Anne Døskeland and Stein Ove Døskeland at the Department of Biomedicine

Marja Jäättelä

Prof. Marja Jååttelå is head of the Centre for Genotoxic Stress Research and has established her own Apoptosis Laboratory. One of her challenges is to force the genetically deranged cancer cells to commit suicide. She has been successful in cancer tumour models in mice. Her untraditional ways to kill cancer cells has been labelled “The Copenhagen Model”.

Marja has authored several high-profiled articles. She has revealed novel anti-apoptotic roles for heat shock proteins in mammary carcinoma cells and the role of lysosomes in cancer cell death, to mention only a few of her achievements.

Homepages: http://www.cancer.dk/bio/nyt+fra+instituttet/forskningscentret+for+genotoksisk+stress1.asp#marja,