George Panayotou Research Group

Molecular Analysis of Signal Transduction Pathways

Cells can respond to a large number of stimuli in their environment, such as growth factors, hormones, cytokines, oxidative stress agents, etc. These signals are very important for regulating metabolism, survival, proliferation, apoptosis, and other cellular functions. The main research objective of our group is to study the complex signaling pathways that are activated in mammalian cells upon their stimulation by extracellular stimuli. Apart from normal cellular physiology, these processes are also very important for the development of many human diseases, and our group investigates these pathways particularly in terms of their role in cancer development. The transduction of a signal from the cell membrane to the cell nucleus, where a specific transcriptional program can be initiated, proceeds through a very complex set of signaling pathways, involving receptors, enzymes, second-messengers and adaptors, whose complex interactions propagate the signal downstream. In order to study these complex processes, traditional approaches that focus on isolated components are not sufficient and therefore the modern methodologies of systems biology are being increasingly applied in this research area. Analyses at the genome, proteome and interactome level are particularly important, helping to reveal new targets of specific signaling pathways and the mode of their regulation. Our laboratory primarily employs proteomic technologies in order to understand the role of specific signaling pathways in cancer development.