Invasion and Signaling

Group leader: Tuula Kallunki

The aim of our research is to understand cancer-induced molecular changes, especially those that regulate lysosomal activity and function leading to enhanced invasion and metastasis, in order to find novel ways to utilize and target them to improve cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Our current work is mainly focused in the role and function of HER2 signaling in aggressive and therapy resistant breast cancer. In our work, we use 3D cell cultures, breast cancer organoids, and various cell and molecular biology approaches.

Tuula Kallunki

Tuula Kallunki

I received my PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Oulu, Finland in 1992, and completed my post-doctoral training in the Department of Pharmacology at the UCSD, USA after which I moved to the Danish Cancer Society with a Marie Curie Fellowship. Besides being a group leader in CDM, I am currently also affiliated as an Associate Professor to the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology at the University of Copenhagen:

The Signaling Group

In addition to my research activities, I have acted as a consultant for biotechnology companies. I have co-organized several scientific symposia and have acted as an expert evaluator for various EU funding programs within the FP6 and FP7 frameworks. I am currently an editor for two scientific journals and I act as a referee for various scientific journals.

Group members

PhD student Malene Bredahl Hansen 

Five selected publications:

Brix, D. M., Tvingsholm, S. A., Hansen, M. B., Clemmensen, K. B., Ohman, T., Siino, V., Lambrughi, M., Hansen, K., Puustinen, P., Gromova, I., James, P., Papaleo, E., Varjosalo, M., Moreira, J., Jaattela, M., Kallunki, T.
Release of transcriptional repression via ErbB2-induced, SUMO-directed phosphorylation of myeloid zinc finger-1 serine 27 activates lysosome redistribution and invasion.
Oncogene 2019: 38(17), 3170-3184

Tvingsholm, S. A., Hansen, M. B., Clemmensen, K. K. B., Brix, D. M., Rafn, B., Frankel, L. B., Louhimo, R., Moreira, J., Hautaniemi, S., Gromova, I., Jäättelä, M., Kallunki, T.
Let-7 microRNA controls invasion-promoting lysosomal changes via the oncogenic transcription factor myeloid zinc finger-1.
Oncogenesis. 2018: 7(2), 14

Tvingsholm, S. A., Brix, D. M., Kallunki, T.
Molecular and Transcriptional Signatures for ErbB2-Induced Invasion.
Current Pharmacology Reports 2018

Brix, D. M., Rafn, B., Bundgaard, Clemmensen K., Andersen, S. H., Ambartsumian, N., Jäättelä, M., Kallunki, T.
Screening and identification of small molecule inhibitors of ErbB2-induced invasion.
Mol.Oncol. 2014: 8(8), 1703-1718

Brix, D. M., Clemmensen, K. K., Kallunki, T.
When Good turns Bad: Regulation of invasion and metastasis by ErbB2 receptor tyrosine kinase.
Cells 2014: 3(1), 53-78

Rafn, B., Nielsen, C. F., Andersen, S. H., Szyniarowski, P., Corcelle-Termeau, E., Valo, E., Fehrenbacher, N., Olsen, C. J., Daugaard, M., Egebjerg, C., Bøttzauw, T., Kohonen, P., Nylandsted, J., Hautaniemi, S., Moreira, J., Jäättelä, M., Kallunki, T.
ErbB2-driven breast cancer cell invasion depends on a complex signaling network activating myeloid zinc finger-1-dependent cathepsin B expression.
Mol.Cell 2012: 45(6), 764-776


Tuula Kallunki