Research Groups

Hormones and Cancer

Scientific Production and Human Team

Principal Investigator

Dr. Justo P. Castaño Fuentes

CIBER on Obesity and Nutrition (CIBERobn) (Collaborator)

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Francisco Gracia Navarro

PAIDI BIO-139 scientific group

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Raúl M. Luque Huertas

Hormones and Cancer

Scientific Activity

Our group investigates the cellular and molecular principles underlying the natural processes of neuroendocrinemetabolic regulation and their dysfunctions in tumour diseases and cancer, paying special attention to the role played by some neuropeptide systems such as somatostatin, cortistatin, ghrelin, kisspeptins and their receptors. Starting from the study of pituitary somatotropes producing the growth hormone (GH), our group has developed a Research Area focused on the analysis of extracellular signals (somatostatin, cortistatin, GHRH,ghrelin, Kisspeptins, etc.), receptors (sst1-5, GHRH-R, GHS-R, Kiss1r) and signalling pathways involved in the regulation of this cell type, as well as other endocrine cell types (eg corticotropes, gonadotropes, pancreatic beta cells) and the global role of these molecules in metabolic homeostasis and the development of tumour pathologies.

To achieve this, we use a wide range of techniques, including primary cultures of normal and tumour cells, cell lines, genetically modified animals, hormone secretion measurements, second messengers and gene expression, dynamics association/dissociation studies and membrane protein trafficking using FRET, confocal microscopy in living cells, and so on. Our studies have led to the discovery and characterization of new receptors, functions and mechanisms of action for different neuroendocrinemetabolic signals and drugs involved in the control of hormone secretion, tumorigenesis, or cell survival and death in various normal and pathological cell types (eg, pituitary tumours, breast cancer, diabetes, obesity), with the ultimate aim of contributing to the future design of innovative therapeutic strategies.


Cellular and Molecular Endocrinology. Hypothalamic-hypophysis. Somatostatin, cortistatin, ghrelin, GHRH and Kisspep- tins and their receptors. Expression and secretion of hormones (GH, LH) and intracellular signalling systems. Regulation of the somatotropic and gonadotropic-reprodutive axes. Hypophysary tumours. Breast cancer