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Institute of Molecular Cancer Research Penengo Lab

Ubiquitin and ISG15 in Chromatin Remodelling and Genome Stability

Ubiquitination and ubiquitin-like (UbL) modifications regulate virtually all cellular pathways, including those relevant for cancer cell proliferation and genome integrity such as the DNA damage response and DNA replication. The ubiquitin system is particularly attractive as anticancer target, thanks to the presence of specific enzymatic – and therefore "druggable" – activities modulating different aspects of DNA metabolism. Inhibiting key ubiquitin-related DNA repair factors could potentiate commonly used anticancer drugs that induce genotoxic stress. However, reaching this goal requires molecular understanding of the ubiquitin-mediated control of genome stability in various conditions of stress. Our research aims to understand how cells exploit the ubiquitin and UbL systems to react to endogenous and exogenous genotoxic stress, and how these signals are decoded into functional outputs.

Current projects


  • Non-Canonical Ubiquitination in the Regulation of DNA Damage Response and DNA Replication

  • Ubiquitin Phosphorylation as New Signalling System in Chromatin Biology

  • The Interferon System and ISG15 in DNA Replication and Genome Stability