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Cancer ResearchDepartment of Thoracic Surgery

Division of Cancer Research

Department of Thoracic Surgery

Funding

Our research is funded by the University of Freiburg as well as the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK).

Additional third party funding is available for the following projects:

2020 - 2023
German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe)
Efficacy, molecular determinants and mechanisms of a combination therapy of ATRA and DNA-hypomethylating agents in lung adenocarcinoma

(together with Prof. Dr. Michael Lübbert)

2018 - 2021
German Research Foundation (DFG)
Defining the mechanisms of a new class of cancer mutations in the tumor suppressor genes SMAD4, PTEN and CDKN2A

2016 - 2020
NCT 3.0 Integrative Project in Basic Cancer Research
Dysregulation of Protein Translation in Cancer

(Heidelberg)

Division of Cancer Research

Department of Thoracic Surgery

Center for Translational Cell Research (ZTZ)
Breisacher Str. 115
D-79106 Freiburg

 

Prof. Dr. Sven Diederichs

Division Head

Phone:
+49 761 270-77571
E-Mail:
lung-cancer-research
@uniklinik-freiburg.de
 

More than 70% of the human Genome (blue) is transcribed into RNA forming the Transcriptome (red), while only less than 2% of the genome are needed to produce all proteins in a human cell constituting the Proteome (yellow).

RNA Biology

A particular emphasis of our research lies on the Molecular Biology of RNA and its associated molecules.

Recent insights into RNA biology induced a paradigm shift towards the recognition of RNAs as functionally important molecules - beyond serving as messengers for protein-encoding genes. A large fraction of the human genome is transcribed into RNA (more than 70%), while only 2% are protein-encoding. Non-protein-coding RNAs execute important functions in the cell. Very short non-coding RNAs, the microRNAs, play important roles in gene regulation. The tumor-suppressive or oncogenic role of many microRNAs and their frequent deregulation in tumors allow a first glimpse of the striking role that non-coding RNAs could play in cancer. Novel long non-coding RNAs (ncRNA, lncRNA, lincRNA) fulfill important functions in epigenetic regulation, chromatin remodeling or splicing. Taken together, the human cell contains many more RNAs than previously anticipated and many of them might just await their discovery as functionally important molecules in cancer.

Our research focuses on long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and their role in cancer. Based on expression profiling using microarrays as well as deep RNA sequencing of the whole transcriptome, we elucidate the cellular and molecular functions of differentially regulated ncRNAs in cancer using innovative techniques like the CRISPR/Cas9 system, in vivo RNA Affinity Purification and our own customized siRNA and CRISPR libraries targeting specifically lung cancer-associated lncRNAs. Our RNAi screens have uncovered numerous lncRNAs controlling several hallmarks of cancer including cancer cell viability, mitosis and Migration.

An emerging Topic of particular importance in our lab are RNA-Protein complexes, especially the new concept of RNA Dependence: R-DeeP (Mol Cell 2019).