"The protein I was researching in the lab, Integrin α3β1, is one of 24 variants of the protein integrin found in mammals. I discovered that in non-melanoma skin cancer it plays a crucial role in tumor formation. In HER2 breast cancer, it actually inhibits tumor growth at a later stage of the disease. After this research, I started working as a postdoctoral researcher at LUMC. I am researching butterfly disease or Epidermolysis Bullosa. In patients with this disease, the epidermis does not adhere to their dermis. An interesting link with my PhD research: in some of these people, this is because they are missing a certain type of integrin: α6β4. We recently learned that it can also be due to a mutation in the KLHL24 gene, while their integrin genes are not mutated. These people also suffer from heart problems. I am now trying to figure out why that is. An interesting challenge!" Veronika defends her thesis on February 18.
The diverse roles of integrin α3β1 in cancer: lessons learned from skin and breast carcinogenesis
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