Prof. Wilfried Roth, M.D.
Phone: +49 6221 564174
Fax: +49 6221 423630



Mechanisms of...


cell death and therapy resistance in cancer.

Clinical Cooperation Unit Molecular Tumor Pathology


Our group/department has:

  • discovered a novel type of cell death which is induced by the HMGB1 protein and which is associated with the formation of giant mitochondria (Gdynia et al. Cancer Res 2010)
  • demonstrated that the death effector domain-containing PEA-15 protein acts as a crucial regulator of autophagy and invasiveness in malignant tumors (Boeck et al. J Biol Chem 2010, Funke et al. Cancer Lett 2013)
  • elucidated the mechanisms of Notch-induced anti-apoptosis which is mediated by an EGFR-dependent signaling cascade (Fassl et al., Oncogene 2012; Hristova et al. Int J Oncol 2013)
  • provided evidence that the DcR3 protein is a central mediator of invasiveness and metastasis in renal cell carcinoma (Weissinger et al., Mol Cancer 2013)
  • clarified the mechanism by which the small molecule inhibitor ABT-737 and ionizing irradiation synergistically induce cancer cell death (Tagscherer et al. Apoptosis 2012)

2010 – 2013

  • Gdynia G, Keith M, Kopitz J, Bergmann M, Fassl A, Weber ANR, George J, Kees T, Zentgraf HW, Wiestler OD, Schirmacher P, Roth W. Danger signaling protein HMGB1 induces a distinct form of cell death accompanied by formation of giant mitochondria. Cancer Research 70, 8558-68, 2010
  • Fassl A, Tagscherer KE, Richter J, Berriel Diaz M, Alcantara Llaguno SR, Campos B, Kopitz J, Herold-Mende C, Herzig S, Schmidt MH, Parada LF, Wiestler OD, Roth W. Notch1 signaling promotes survival of glioblastoma cell via EGFR-mediated induction of anti-apoptotic Mcl-1. Oncogene, 31, 4698-708, 2012.
  • Böck BC, Tagscherer KE, Fassl A, Krämer A, Oehme I, Zentgraf HW, Keith M, Roth W. The PEA-15 protein regulates autophagy via activation of JNK. The Journal of Biological Chemistry 285, 21644-54, 2010
  • Weissinger D, Tagscherer KE, Macher-Göppinger S, Haferkamp A, Wagener N, Roth W. The soluble Decoy Receptor 3 is regulated by a PI3K-dependent mechanism and promotes migration and invasion in renal cell carcinoma. Molecular Cancer, in press
  • Tagscherer KE, Fassl A, Sinkovic T, Combs SE, Roth W. p53-dependent regulation of Mcl-1 contributes to synergistic cell death by ionizing radiation and the Bcl-2/Bcl-XL inhibitor ABT-737. Apoptosis, 17, 187-99, 2012.
  • Deutsche Krebshilfe: Mechanisms of cell death in malignant gliomas (Max Eder Junior Research Group Program). 2005-2011;
  • BMBF – Brain tumor network: Novel functions of BCL-2 family proteins in glioblastomas: invasiveness and autophagy (Collaboration project with W. Wick, Clinical Neurooncology, Heidelberg). 2008-2013;
  • Hopp-Stiftung: Co-treatment of glioblastomas with heavy ion therapy and chemotherapy (Collaboration project with S. Combs, Dep. of Radio-Oncology, Heidelberg). 2009-2011;
  • Rudolf-Virchow Award from the German Society for Pathology (2009)