Drugs Targets and Biomarkers

Drugs Targets and Biomarkers

The DTB group is deeply committed to the elucidation of the underlying causes and mechanisms of health, aging and disease, as well as to the identification of biomarkers and discovery of new therapeutic targets/drugs.

The DTB group has identified key structural features and anti-tumor properties of newly designed/synthesized potent aromatase inhibitors (AI) contributing to clarify the biological mechanisms of the steroidal AI exemestane and its metabolites in sensitive and resistant breast cancer cells. In chronic kidney disease (CKD) anemia, the group also showed that rHuEPO hyporesponsiveness was associated with a high systemic and renal inflammatory condition, favoring hypoxia and triggering an increase in renal expression of HIF-1-alpha, TGF-beta-1 and CTGF that will further aggravate renal fibrosis and inflammation and promote disease progression.

Pursuing our main goals, our research will focus on the: i) importance of cannabinoid signaling and impact of exogenous cannabinoids in reproduction/infertility; ii) acquired resistance mechanisms to AI to find new targets/drugs to improve ER+ breast cancer therapy; iii)  identification of biomarkers of initial renal damage, progression and mortality prediction, to enhance information on CKD and in the regulation of erythropoietin gene expression in CKD anemia; iv) development of educational programs and interventions for the elderly and health professionals to improve therapy adherence and prevent/mitigate frailty, and tools to evaluate implementation of technological solutions in old-aged.

In 2013-2017 the group has published 160 WoS papers, with 980 citations as well as 20 books/book chapters; supervised 16 PhD and 33 MSc theses. The DTB members have participated in 8 international projects (3 of which as PI) and 8 national projects (3 as PI), with an approximate funding of 0.7 M€.

DTB Research Labs
Recent publications
Lourenco, J; Serrano, A; Santos-Silva, A; Gomes, M; Afonso, C; Freitas, P; Paul, C; Costa, E. 2018. Cardiovascular Risk Factors Are Correlated with Low Cognitive Function among Older Adults Across Europe Based on The SHARE Database. Aging and Disease, 9, DOI: 10.14336/AD.2017.0128
Sá, SI; Teixeira, N; Fonseca, BM. 2018. Effects of tamoxifen on neuronal morphology, connectivity and biochemistry of hypothalamic ventromedial neurons: Impact on the modulators of sexual behavior. NEUROBIOLOGY OF DISEASE, 109, DOI: 10.1016/j.nbd.2017.09.009
Valente, MJ; Amaral, C; Correia-da-Silva, G; Duarte, JA; Bastos, MD; Carvalho, F; de Pinho, PG; Carvalho, M. 2017. Role of autophagy, apoptosis and oxidative stress in the toxicity of beta-keto amphetamines to human dopaminergic SH-SY5Y cells. TOXICOLOGY LETTERS, 280, DOI: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2017.07.425
Susana Coimbra; Cátia Ferreira; Luís Belo; Petronila Rocha-Pereira; Alice Catarino; Luís Monteiro; Cristina Catarino; Alice Santos-Silva. 2017. Impact of weight loss on inflammation and red blood cell biomarkers after laparoscopic gastric banding surgery. JOURNAL OF INVESTIGATIVE MEDICINE, DOI: 10.1136/jim-2017-000528
Maria João Valente; Cristina Amaral; Georgina Correia-da-Silva; José Alberto Duarte; Maria de Lourdes Bastos; Félix Carvalho; Paula Guedes de Pinho; Márcia Carvalho. 2017. Methylone and MDPV activate autophagy in human dopaminergic SH-SY5Y cells: a new insight into the context of β-keto amphetamines-related neurotoxicity. ARCHIVES OF TOXICOLOGY, DOI: 10.1007/s00204-017-1984-z