Department of Pharmacy - Center for Drug Research
Room: B 4.025
Cancer-related diseases are still a major cause of death, however therapy remains challenging, cure is rarely achieved and incidences are still rising. My group is interested in developing innovative treatment strategies for cancerous diseases. To unravel novel therapeutic targets and investigate survival mechanisms of cancer cells, we are using natural compounds and derivatives as pharmaceutical tools and lead structures for pre-clinical studies. In particular, we are focusing our attention on the function of the endolysosomal system (ES) and on tumor metabolism in the development and treatment of cancer.
The endolysosomal System
The ES is essential in the regulation of cellular transport, recycling and repair processes and therefore important for tumor growth and metastasis formation. Our major aim is to assess the role of the ES in cancer cell survival, cell death and chemoresistance, especially its influence on other cellular organelles (e.g. mitochondria), in order to develop new therapeutic strategies. Therefore, we are highly interested in lysosomal membrane transporters and ion channels, such as the cation channel families of mucolipins (TRPMLs) and two-pore channels (TPCs), as well as the vacuolar-H+-ATPase (V-ATPase).
It is nowadays generally known that the majority of cancer cells undergoes extensive metabolic reprogramming to generate energy, reducing equivalents and building blocks for sustained proliferation and survival. Targeting tumor metabolism might therefore be a promising approach to hit cancer cells at their weak spot. In particular, cancer cells have been reported to be exceptionally dependent on glutamine or ‘glutamine addicted’, which might open an interesting therapeutic opportunity we are currently examining.
An up-to-date list of Dr. Bartel´s publications can be found on PubMed