Current third-party funded projects

Induction of myogenic differentiation in rhabdomyosarcoma cells for supportive cancer therapy

Wilhelm Sander Foundation
funding period: 1/2023-12/2024

We demonstrated that a specific transcriptional repressor is expressed in embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS) and that its expression prevents terminal differentiation in ERMS. Reducing the levels of this transcriptional repressor in ERMS leads to enhanced cell differentiation, which could be used as an adjuvant therapy to treat ERMS. We pursue the hypothesis that ERMS cells fail to downregulate the expression of this transcriptional repressor and therefore fail to terminally differentiate. Consequently, this leads to continuous proliferation and thus tumor growth. Here, we aim to investigate the molecular causes for the inhibition of differentiation as a consequence of aberrant levels of this transcritpional repressor in ERMS. Second, we plan to analyze the changes in signaling pathways due to aberrantly increased expression of the transcritpional repressor in ERMS. Furthermore, experiments will be performed to investigate the effect of reducing the expression of the transcriptional repressor in ERMS tumors on tumor growth and induction of differentiation with the goal of establishing the basis for differentiation-inducing therapy of ERMS in humans.

Former Third Party funded Projects (selection)

  • Homeostasis of satellite cells during aging; Emmy Noether Programme (DFG)
    funding period: 2013-2020
  • Muscle stem cells in cancer cachexia (Deutsche Krebshilfe)
    funding period: 2019-2022
  • Alterations in muscle stem cells in cancer cachexia (Carl-Zeiss Stiftung)
    funding period: 2020-2022