Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich


Connection between basic cellular processes and tumor development

The pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal among human tumors. The constitutive active KrasG12D gene mutation is found in up to 90% of all human PDACs, thus the use of KrasG12D- based murine models of PDAC is suitable to investigate PDAC initiation and progression. Despite the increasing knowledge regarding molecular pathogenesis, we are still missing key aspects of the tumor biology of this disease. Endocytosis is a basic and ubiquitous cellular process involved in membrane dynamics, assembling of signaling molecules and control of the uptake of extracellular components into the cell. We believe that this dynamic cellular process acts at multiple levels during tumor development. Our research focuses on the connection of endocytosis, signaling and metabolism with PDAC initiation and progression using KrasG12D- based murine models. Since the involvement of endocytosis in the homeostasis of every cell type in the body, our results may be of relevance for several diseases.