Cancer represents a leading cause of death worldwide, with numbers projected to further rise to an estimated 16.3 million deaths in 2040. The transformation of normal into cancer cells is a stepwise process that generally involves activation of oncogenes and inactivation of tumor suppressors to undermine the normal biological constraints on growth control.
Our group investigates small GTPases and their regulators, which function as oncogenes or tumor suppressor proteins in different pathological scenarios. Currently our focus lies on the small GTPases Ral, Rheb and κB-Ras and the respective GTPase-activating protein complexes. We are interested in the relevant signaling mechanisms and cell biological processes, which we address by combining diverse biochemical, cell biological and microscopy techniques. We study the physiological relevance and potential therapeutic use of our findings in by using 3D organoid and in vivo models, but also pursue structural and mechanistic aspects.