MRC Clinical Sciences Centre Cell Proliferation Group, Jesús Gil
Jesús Gil, EACR "Highly Commended" 2011 Cancer Research Award Winner
Jesús Gil, EMBO Young Investigator 2008

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Welcome to the web site of the Cell Proliferation Group. The Group is led by Jesús Gil and was established in November 2005. We are part of the Epigenetics, Development and Cancer Section at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Sciences Centre (CSC). The CSC is core-funded by the MRC, a division of the Faculty of Medicine of Imperial College London, and is located on the Hammersmith Hospital Campus. Our group is a young and friendly team that hopefully will be expanding in the coming years. We use mammalian cell culture systems and genetic screenings to identify genes potentially involved in cancer progression. Here you will find more information about our group and the research we do. We encourage you to contact us if you have any questions about the Group or this site, or if you would like to join us.

The ultimate goal of the Cell Proliferation Group is to identify novel genes involved in cancer and analyse how they are related to the genetic networks regulating cell proliferation. Normal cells have a limited ability to proliferate. When primary cells reach this limit or upon the expression of some oncogenes, they undergo an irreversible growth arrest, termed senescence. Our Group works on understanding senescence because it suppresses tumor progression (Collado et al. 2005) and since we can also use it as a model system to identify novel cancer genes (Gil et al. 2004; Kondo et al. 2005). Using genetic screenings, we have identified the unexpected role of glycolytic enzymes in senescence and cancer (Kondoh et al. 2005) and how chemokine signaling reinforces senescence (Acosta et al. 2008). In addition, we have identified the Polycomb group (PcG) CBX7 as a gene modulating cellular lifespan (Gil et al. 2004) by repressing the transcription of the INK4A/ARF locus (Gil and Peters, 2006) and therefore interfering with the Rb and p53 pathways. Cbx7 has oncogenic properties and its expression is upregulated in follicular lymphomas.


Genetic screens to identify cancer genes.  This is an outline of the experimental approach used in our groups.  Retroviral librarires are transfected into packaging cell lines, and high-titre viral supernatants are used to infect the target cells in which functional screenings are going to be carried out.   Vectors conferring a given phenotype (such as bypassing of senescence) are recovered, retested and identified.

Genetic screens to identify cancer genes. This is an outline of the experimental approach used by our group. Retroviral libraries are transfected into packaging cell lines, and high-titre viral supernatants are used to infect the target cells in which functional screenings will be carried out. Vectors conferring a given phenotype (such as bypassing of senescence) are recovered, retested and identified.


References

Acosta, J. C., O'Loghlen, A., Banito, A., Guijarro, M. V., Augert, A., Raguz, S., Fumagalli, M., Da Costa, M., Brown, C., Popov, N., Takatsu, Y., Melamed, J., d'Adda di Fagagna, F., Bernard, D., Hernando, E., Gil, J. (2008). Chemokine signaling via the CXCR2 receptor reinforces senescence. Cell 133, 1006–1018.
[ ABSTRACT ] [ FULL TEXT ]

Collado, M., Gil, J., Efeyan, A., Guerra, C., Schumacher, A. J., Barradas, M., Benguría, A, Zaballos, A., Flores, J. M., Barbacid, M., Beach, D., Serrano M. (2005). Tumor biology: senescence in premalignant tumours. Nature 436, 642.
[ ABSTRACT ]

Gil, J., Bernard, D., Martinez, D., Beach, D. (2004). Polycomb CBX7 has a unifying role in cellular lifespan. Nature Cell Biology 6, 67-72.
[ ABSTRACT ]

Gil, J., Peters, G. (2006). Regulation of the INK4b-ARF-INK4a tumour suppressor locus: all for one or one for all. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 7, 667-677.
[ ABSTRACT ]

Kondoh, H., Lleonart, M. E., Gil, J., Wang, J., Degan, P., Peters, G., Martinez, D., Carnero, A., Beach, D. (2005). Glycolytic enzymes can modulate cellular lifespan. Cancer Research 65, 177-185.
[ ABSTRACT ]

Scott, C. L., Gil, J., Hernando, E., Teruya-Feldstein, J., Narita, M., Martinez, D., Visakorpi, T., Mu, D., Cordon-Cardo, C., Peters, G., Beach, D., Lowe, S. W. (2007). Role of the chromobox protein CBX7 in lymphomagenesis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America 104, 5389-5394.
[ ABSTRACT ] [ FULL TEXT ]