Sabourin Lab

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Contact Information

Luc Sabourin, PhD

Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Centre for Cancer Therapeutics
Cancer Centre Building
501 Smyth Road
Box 926
Ottawa, ON. K1H 8L6

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Research Activities

Cancer progression from a localized neoplastic lesion to an invasive phenotype involves genetic changes resulting in the activation of several genes implicated in proliferation and cell invasion. Cancer cell invasion through basement membranes, into the lymphatics or the blood vessels, relies heavily on the cell's migration machinery and signaling systems. Extensive literature indicate that migration pathways and actin regulators play a crucial role in transformation and are likely to be the mediators of the migratory and invasive phenotype.
Our lab is studying the role of the Ste20-like kinase SLK in the control of cell motility.

Several studies have provided direct evidence supporting a role for erbB-2 and c-Met in mammary tumorigenesis. Despite the importance of HER2/Neu/ErbB2 and c-Met in the etiology of breast carcinomas, the molecular mechanisms by which they confer an invasive phenotype is still unclear. Our research efforts are also focused on understanding how growth factor receptors such as ErbB-2 (overexpressed in 25-30% of human breast cancers) and c-Met are coupled to extracellualr matrix signaling and to the migration machinery using transgenic models and cell culture systems. We believe that delineating the molecular mechanisms translating growth factor signals to the migration machinery is key in the development of additional therapies targeted at the invasive potential of these tumors.