Welcome to the Engedal Lab home page Autophagy in cancer

Nikolai EngedalProject group leader
Nikolai Engedal
Project group leader

 Our group focuses on the role of autophagy in cancer.

 Projects include studies of autophagy in prostate cancer and melanoma, and the role of mammalian ATG8 proteins in autophagy of malignant and non-malignant cells. We have a strong methodology on utilizing cargo-based, functional assays to investigate general autophagy as well as various types of selective autophagy.

In a newly funded project, we aim to:

- Decipher alterations in autophagic capacity during prostate cancer formation and progression by studying primary cells, various models of cellular transformation, cell line models of prostate cancer progression, and ex vivo cultures of patient tissue at different stages of the disease. 

- Define novel sets of genetic and molecular markers of autophagy in patient material

- Perform drug screens to identify modulators that can alter the autophagic capacity of cancer cells in a way that reduces their aggressiveness

Major steps of autophagy: (i) phagophore expansion and closure, (ii) autophagosome-lysosome fusion, and (iii) degradation and recycling of the sequestered material, e.g. proteins (blue), lipids (red), and organelles like mitochondria (brown).