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Master project b-catenin, transcription factors and cancer

Elucidating the Molecular Interactions of β-catenin in Transcriptional Regulation and Cancer

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We seek motivated Master’s students to work on an interdisciplinary research project related to transcription regulation and cancer.

Topic: The project is anchored at the interface of structural biology, cell biology, and functional molecular sciences to explore novel molecular mechanisms that regulate the activity of transcription factors in humans. Dysregulation of β-catenin has been implicated in various diseases, particularly cancer, where aberrant activation of the Wnt pathway contributes to tumor initiation and progression. Mutations in Wnt pathway genes, including those encoding β-catenin, result in its accumulation within cells, driving oncogenic signaling. Therefore, targeting beta-catenin emerges as a promising therapeutic strategy to mitigate cancer progression. Precision therapies directed at modulating β-catenin’s activity offer a targeted approach to counteract aberrant Wnt signaling, potentially improving treatment efficacy and patient outcomes in cancer.

In this project, we aim to explore the interaction between the β-catenin protein and a selection of disease-relevant predicted transcription factors in vitro. Additionally, we seek to quantify their binding affinities and assess changes in structure, particularly the change of dynamics of transcription factors upon binding to β-catenin.

The state-of-the-art techniques, including heterologous protein expression, NMR spectroscopy, protein binding studies, liquid-liquid phase separation assays, and super-resolution microscopy, will be employed to decipher the structure and function of transcription factors and their dysregulation in age-related diseases like cancers.

Start: As soon as possible, funding available

Contact: Tobias Madl (