Gene Regulation, Stems Cells and Cancer

Gene Function

Group Structure

Susana de la Luna (ICREA Research Professor)
Esteban Rozen (CIBERER researcher)
Chiara Di Vona, Julia Rowenstrunk
Alicia Raya, Krisztina Arató


Dual-specificity tyrosine-regulated kinases or dual-specificity yak-related kinases (DYRKs), belong to the CMGC group, which also includes cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3), CDK-like kinases, serine/arginine-rich protein kinases, cdc2-like kinases and RCK kinases. Members of the DYRK family are found in four of the five main taxa (animalia, plantae, fungi and protista), and all DYRK proteins studied to date share common structural, biochemical and functional properties with their ancestors in yeast. The mammalian DYRK subfamily consists of five members: DYRK1A, DYRK1B (also named Mirk), DYRK2, DYRK3 (also named REDK) and DYRK4, and studies of their function indicate that they participate in several signalling pathways critical for developmental processes and cell homeostasis. In particular, DYRK1A plays an important role in mammalian brain development. Both its overexpression, as part of the Down syndrome critical region, as well as its haploinsufficiency have been linked to neurodevelopmental alterations in humans. In fact, haploinsufficiency of DYRK1A is proposed to be a distinctive clinical syndrome including, primary microcephaly, intra-uterine growth retardation and behavioural problems. Our group is interested in understanding the biological roles of DYRK kinases, how they are regulated and how their activity impacts on gene regulatory processes.
Figure 1. DYRK family of protein kinases. Figure 1. DYRK family of protein kinases.
Figure 2. DYRK1A accumulates in the splicing factor compartment (also known as nuclear speckles).Figure 2. DYRK1A accumulates in the splicing factor compartment (also known as nuclear speckles).

Research Projects

  • Regulatory mechanisms of DYRK kinases
  • A comprehensive catalogue of DYRK1A substrates
  • DYRK kinases and gene regulation