Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer and Stemness

 Research group

Group Leader

Lluís Espinosa Blay

The Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer and Stemness group is fully dedicated to the identification of elements and pathways that regulate Stem Cell and Cancer Stem Cell homeostasis, with the final goal of discovering biomarkers and therapeutic targets for regenerative medicine and cancer.

The group has historically focused on studying the Notch and NF-κB pathways, which are principal actors of these processes. However, our research now aims to integrate these pathways in the context of other important signals for stem cell and cell transformation such as BRAF or ß-catenin.


Joan Bertran Comulada (Researcher)

Irene Pecharromán Ruiz (PhD Student)

Laura Solé Font (PhD Student)

Laura Marruecos Aylagas (Technician)

Leonie Schoch (Technician)

Main Publications

• López-Arribillaga E, Rodilla V, Colomer C, Vert A, Shelton A, Cheng JH, Yan B, González-Pérez A, Junttila MR, Iglesias M, Torres F, Albanell J, Villanueva A, Bigas A, Siebel CW, Espinosa L. Manic Fringe deficiency imposes Jagged1 addiction to intestinal tumor cells. Nat Commun 2018; 9(1): 2992. IF 12.353. D1.

• Santos-Barriopedro I, Bosch-Presegué L, Marazuela-Duque A, de la Torre C, Colomer C, Vázquez BN, Fuhrmann T, Martínez-Pastor B, Lu W, Braun T, Bober E, Jenuwein T, Serrano L, Esteller M, Chen Z, Barceló-Batllori S, Mostoslavsky R, Espinosa L, Vaquero A. SIRT6-dependent cysteine monoubiquitination in the PRE-SET domain of Suv39h1 regulates the NF-kB pathway. Nat Commun 2018; 9(1): 101. IF 12.353. D1.

• Gallardo F, Bertran J, López-Arribillaga E, González J, Menéndez S, Sánchez I, Colomo L, Iglesias M, Garrido M, Santamaría-Babí LF, Torres F, Pujol RM, Bigas A, Espinosa L. Novel phosphorylated TAK1 species with functional impact on NF-κB and β-catenin signaling in human Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Leukemia 2018; 32(10): 2211-2223. IF 10.023. D1.

• Bigas A, Espinosa L. The multiple usages of Notch signaling in development, cell differentiation and cancer. Curr Opin Cell Biol 2018; 55: 1-7. IF 10.015. D1.

• Colomer C, Margalef P, González J, Vert A, Bigas A, Espinosa L. IKKα is required in the intestinal epithelial cells for tumour stemness. Br J Cancer 2018; 118(6): 839-846. IF 5.922. Q1.

Ongoing Research Projects

• Identificación de nuevos biomarcadores y dianas terapéuticas asociados a la actividad IKK

- Financing institution: Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria. ISCIII (PI16/00437)

- Period: from 2017 to 2019

- Principal investigator: Espinosa Blay, Lluís



C/ Doctor Aiguader, 88

08003 Barcelona

(+34) 93 316 04 00