Research / Klefström lab


MYC-dependent metabolic vulnerabilities

We study different possibilities to exploit synthetic lethal interactions in drug discovery and recently, we have focused on MYC-dependent metabolic vulnerabilities. This particularly interesting cancer vulnerability is tightly linked to a conserved cellular energy sensing pathway controlled by a protein kinase AMPK. Another line of enquiry is related to the role of limited proteolysis in regulation of epithelial integrity-dependent survival of breast epithelial cells. In these studies, we focus on the type II transmembrane serine protease hepsin.

3D culture

We study cells in three-dimensional (3D) context using different extracellular matrices as scaffolds for reconstruction of mammary gland specific structures. In these 3D culture studies, we use epithelial cell lines and ex vivo primary epithelial cells. In addition, we have established a 3D culture platform for patient-derived breast cancer explants (PDEX) using specific scaffolds that preserve breast tumor cell function and identity. For in vivo validation, we use different immunocompetent in vivo models of breast cancer, including GEMMs and syngraft models. In addition, we study drug responses in patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models of breast cancer.

CANCER therapeutic strategies

We are currently testing several lead therapeutic intervention strategies related to cancer cell metabolism and apoptosis in our collection of preclinical in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo models of breast cancer, hoping to translate soon our scientific discoveries to clinical investigation and ultimately, to benefit of a cancer patient.

For more information contact the lab head Juha Klefstrom. For open positions in the lab, click here.

Research Programs Unit/Translational Cancer Biology
& Medicum, Biomedicum Helsinki 1,
Medical Faculty, University of Helsinki

Haartmaninkatu 8
00290 Helsinki

University of Helsinki internal mailing address
P.O. Box 63
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

Tel. Lab +358 2 941 25494 (room B509)
Office +358 2 941 25493 (room B507b)
Junior office (room B503)
Fax +358 2 941 25610