Epithelial Cell Biology Lab
Our laboratory research interests are directed to understand the molecular events that govern the intercellular communication between skin progenitor cells. In recent years our focus has been on the control exerted on skin progenitor cells by the complex cellular milieu in which they reside, during skin development, homeostasis and cancer. This information may provide insights into the future development of regenerative and anti-cancer therapies.
Using skin as a model system, human samples, mouse genetics, and cellular, molecular and imaging approaches, we aim to understand how the interactions between epithelial progenitor cells, and also with their surrounding microenvironment, sustain skin homeostasis, regeneration, and when perturbed lead to cancer.
Our research interests fall into three categories:
Cell adhesion, cell polarity and cytoskeleton proteins in the regulation of skin stem cell’s self-renewal and differentiation.
Contributions of stromal cells, in particular immune and endothelial cells, to the skin stem cell niche during skin homeostasis.
Contributions of stromal cells, in particular immune and endothelial cells, to cancer stem cell maintenance and tumor progression.
We collaborate with a number of Danish, European and USA laboratories.
Peña-Jimenez D, Fontenete S, Megias D, Fustero-Torre C, Graña-Castro O, Castellana D, Loewe R, Perez-Moreno M. Lymphatic vessels interact dynamically with the hair follicle stem cell niche during skin regeneration in vivo. EMBO J. 2019 Oct 1;38(19):e101688. doi: 10.15252/embj.2019101688. PMID: 31475747.
Epidermal Stem Cell Niche. Vol 3. 1st Edition. 2019 Aug 9, Editor. Mirna Perez-Moreno. Academic Press, Elsevier. ISBN 9780128184462. eBook ISBN: 9780128184479.
Fontenete S, Perez-Moreno M. Isolation of Cancer Stem Cells from Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Methods Mol Biol. 2019;1879:407-414. Doi: 10.1007/7651_2018_162.PMID: 29790094.
Fontenete S, Peña-Jimenez D, Perez-Moreno M. Heterocellular cadherin connections: coordinating adhesive cues in homeostasis and cancer. F1000Res. 2017. Jun 27;6:1010. Doi: 10.12688/f1000research.11357.1. PMID: 28721207.
Shahbazi MN, Peña-Jimenez D, Antonucci F, Drosten M, Perez-Moreno M. Clasp2 ensures mitotic fidelity and prevents differentiation of epidermal keratinocytes. J Cell Sci. 2017 Feb 15;130(4):683-688. Doi: 10.1242/jcs.194787. PMID: 28069833.
Sánchez-Martínez R, Cruz-Gil S, Gómez de Cedrón M, Álvarez-Fernández M, Vargas T, Molina S, García B, Herranz J, Moreno-Rubio J, Reglero G, Pérez-Moreno M, Feliu J, Malumbres M, Ramírez de Molina A. A link between lipid metabolism and epithelial-mesenchymal transition provides a target for colon cancer therapy. Oncotarget. 2015 Nov 17;6(36):38719-36. Doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.5340. PMID: 26451612.
Shahbazi MN, Perez-Moreno M. Connections between cadherin-catenin proteins, spindle misorientation, and cancer. Tissue Barriers. 2015 May 11;3(3):e1045684. Doi: 10.1080/21688370.2015.1045684. PMID: 26451345.
Villarejo A, Molina-Ortiz P, Montenegro Y, Moreno-Bueno G, Morales S, Santos V, Gridley T, Pérez-Moreno MA, Peinado H, Portillo F, Calés C, Cano A. Loss of Snail2 favors skin tumor progression by promoting the recruitment of myeloid progenitors. Carcinogenesis. 2015 May; 36(5):585-97. Doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgv021. PMID: 25784375.
Castellana D, Paus R, Perez-Moreno M. Macrophages contribute to the cyclic activation of adult hair follicle stem cells. PloS Biol. 2014 Dec 23;12(12):e1002002. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002002. PMID: 25536657.
Goñi GM, Epifano C, Boskovic J, Camacho-Artacho M, Zhou J, Bronowska A, Martín MT, Eck MJ, Kremer L, Gräter F, Gervasio FL, Perez-Moreno M, Lietha D. Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate triggers activation of focal adhesion kinase by inducing clustering and conformational changes. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2014 Aug 5;111(31):E3177-86. Doi: 10.1073/pnas.1317022111.PMID: 25049397.
Epifano C, Megias D, Perez-Moreno M. p120-catenin differentially regulates cell migration by Rho-dependent intracellular and secreted signals. EMBO Rep. 2014 May;15(5):592-600. Doi: 10.1002/embr.201337868. PMID: 24639556.
Shahbazi MN, Megias D, Epifano C, Akhmanova A, Gundersen GG, Fuchs E, Perez-Moreno M. CLASP2 interacts with p120-catenin and governs microtubule dynamics at adherens junctions. J Cell Biol. 2013 Dec 23;203(6):1043-61. Doi: 10.1083/jcb.201306019. PMID: 24368809.
Martin-Belmonte F, Perez-Moreno M. Epithelial cell polarity, stem cells and cancer. Nat Rev Cancer. 2011 Dec 15;12(1):23-38. Doi: 10.1038/nrc3169. PMID: 22169974.
BioScience. Grundlæggende biovidenskab
Principal Subject in Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology
Cellular Signalling in Health and Disease
Novo Nordisk Foundation. P.I. Mirna Perez-Moreno. 2018-2020
Danish Cancer Society. P.I. Mirna Perez-Moreno. 2020-2022
NEYE Foundation. P.I. Mirna Perez-Moreno. 2019-2021
Toyota Foundation. P.I. Mirna Perez-Moreno. 2020-2021
Fabrikant Einar Willumsens Mindelegat. P.I. Silvia Fontenete. 2020-2021
Marie-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship to Silvia Fontenete. 2019-2021
Associate Professor. Mirna was awarded her Ph.D. (1999) from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies, Mexico. She conducted short postdocs at the Biomedical Research Institute, Madrid, and at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, NY. After completing a Department of Defense postdoctoral fellowship in Elaine Fuchs’ laboratory at The Rockefeller University, NY (2002-2008), Dr. Perez-Moreno started her independent laboratory at the Spanish Cancer Research Centre, Madrid (2008-2017). Dr. Perez-Moreno is currently Associate Professor of the Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen (Oct 2017-present).
Postdoctoral Fellow. Silvia received her BS in Genetics and Biotechnology (2008) and her Ph.D. in Pathology and Molecular Genetics (2015) from the University of Porto working on the development of detection methods for Helicobacter pylori within the human body. Her predoctoral work was performed in different institutions: The University of Porto, the University of Southern Denmark, and at the University of Antwerp, in Belgium. Silvia joined Mirna’s group in 2015 to work on the crosstalk between macrophages and cancer stem cells in squamous cell carcinoma development. She is a recipient of the Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.
Ph.D. Student. Zhe Xie received her BSc from the Hunan Agricultural University, and her MSc Medicine (2016) from the Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, China. Her work involves the identification of novel mutations driving tumorigenesis, and her studies are pursued at BGI-Shenzhen, China, and at the Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen.
Ph.D. Student. Jianhui Yue received his BSc from the Hainan University, and his MSc in Biomedical Engineering (2012) from the Sichuan University, China. His work focuses on the identification of specific tumor sequences required for immune recognition and targeting. His studies are pursued at the Institute of SuperCells, BGI-Shenzhen, China, and at the Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen.