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Centre for Cancer Biomarkers CCBIO
CCBIO Seminar series

CCBIO Seminar – Daniela Elena Costea

During 2018-2019 Dana Costea had the opportunity to spend one year in the laboratory of Professor Silvio Gutkind at Moores Cancer Centre, University of California, San Diego. Insights into the research performed there will be presented in the seminar along to personal reflections of the sabbatical experience. Title of her talk: “My sabbatical year at University of California, San Diego: Conditional expression of HPV16 E6/E7 onco-proteins and PIK3CA is sufficient to initiate HPV-associated carcinogenesis.”

Speaker: Daniela Elena Costea, Associated Investigator at CCBIO and Professor in tumor pathology, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Bergen.

Title: “My sabbatical year at University of California, San Diego: Conditional expression of HPV16 E6/E7 onco-proteins and PIK3CA is sufficient to initiate HPV-associated carcinogenesis.”

When: Thursday October 31st at 14:30

Place: Auditorium 4, BB-building

Abstract: The rising incidence of HPV-associated squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) highlights the urgent need to investigate the oncogenic processes underlying SCC initiation and progression. Genomic landscape identified PIK3CA signaling as a frequently altered growth promoting pathway in SCC. However, its relative contribution to squamous cell carcinogenesis with respect the large number of additional genomic alterations in SCC has not yet been examined. We engineered a genetically-defined mouse model combining the conditional expression of PIK3CAH1047R with the tetracycline-inducible expression of HPV16 E6/E7 oncogenes in a localized and temporally controlled fashion, to investigate whether PIK3CA alterations and HPV-16 expression are sufficient to induce SCC. Interestingly, we found that PIK3CA expression alone does not cause any alterations, and that doxycycline induction of HPV-16 E6/E7 in the stratified squamous epithelium causes rapid and sustained suprabasal cell proliferation and hyperplasia, but not SCC. Surprisingly, we found that in adult mice the combined expression of HPV-16 E6/E7 and PIK3CAH1047R caused rapid development of epithelial dysplasia and SCC. Furthermore, mice with epithelial dysplasia exhibited a marked increase of mTOR activation in the basal epithelial layers which was further dysregulated in cancer. The mouse model presented here provides a valuable biological tool for understanding and targeting HPV-related squamous cell carcinogenesis.

Chairperson: Lars A. Akslen

All are welcome, also to the following pizza get-together! No registration needed.

The CCBIO Seminar series fulfills several aims.

  • Firstly, it conveys relevant biomarker research to the local scientific community and students and younger researchers in particular, providing the ground for future recruitment.
  • Secondly, it is part of two formal courses, BMED 380 on the master level, and together with the CCBIO Annual Symposium, forms CCBIO 902, a PhD level course.
  • Last, but not least, the CCBIO seminars with their subsequent open pizza get-together are an important arena for informal interaction between international researchers, CCBIO PIs and other CCBIO staff as well as interested researchers and students in general.

All interested researchers, students and others are welcome!