Manel Esteller

Institut d'Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge (IDIBELL)

Life & Medical Sciences

Manel Esteller (Sant Boi de Llobregat, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, 1968) graduated in Medicine with Honours from the Universitat de Barcelona in 1992, where he also obtained his PhD degree in molecular genetics in 1996. He was an Invited Researcher at the School of Biological and Medical Sciences at the University of St. Andrews (Scotland, UK) . From 1997 to 2001, Dr. Esteller was a researcher at the Johns Hopkins University and School of Medicine (Baltimore, USA) where he was decisive in establishing promoter hypermethylation of tumour suppressor genes as a common hallmark of all human tumours. From October 2001 to September 2008 Manel Esteller was the leader of the CNIO Cancer Epigenetics Laboratory. Currently, Dr Manel Esteller is Director of the Cancer Epigenetics and Biology Program (PEBC) of the Bellvitge Institute for Biomedical Research (IDIBELL).

Research interests

– Definition of the Epigenome of Cancer Cells: Profile of DNA methylation and histone modifications in tumor suppressor genes and repetitive sequences in cancer. Global and gene-specific definition of aberrant epigenetic changes and functional consequences in transcription regulation, DNA repair and chromosome instability.

– Study of the Epigenetics Machinery and Mechanisms: Role and function of DNA methyltransferases (enzymes that maintain DNA methylation), specificity of methyl-CpG binding domain proteins (the nuclear factors that recognize DNA methylation), analysis of biological properties of histone deacetylases and methyltransferases (enzymes that modify histones).

– Study of Mutations in the Epigenetic Machinery: The mechanisms underlying the disruption of the epigenetic landscape in transformed cells are unknown.

– Study of the Epigenetic and Genetic Disruption of Non-Coding RNAs in Human Cancer.

Selected publications

– Moran S, Martínez-Cardús A, Sayols S, Musulén E, Balana C, Estival-Gonzalez A, Moutinho C, Heyn H, Diaz-Lagares A, Castro de Moura M, Stella GM, Comoglio PM, Ruiz-Miró M, Matias-Guiu X, Pazo-Cid R, Antón A, Lopez-Lopez R, Soler G, Longo F, Guerra I, Fernandez S, Assenov Y, Plass C, Morales R, Carles J, Bowtell D, Mileshkin L, Sia D, Tothill R, Tabernero J, Llovet JM Esteller M 2016, ‘Epigenetic profiling to classify cancer of unknown primary: a multicentre, retrospective analysis’, The Lancet Oncology, 17, 1386–1395.

– Ferreira HJ, Heyn H, Vizoso M, Moutinho C, Vidal E, Gomez A, Martinez-Cardus A, Simo-Riudalbas L, Moran S, Jost E & Esteller M 2016, ‘DNMT3A mutations mediate the epigenetic reactivation of the leukemogenic factor MEIS1 in acute myeloid leukemia’, Oncogene, 35, 3079-3082.

– Anadón C, Guil S, Simó-Riudalbas L, Moutinho C, Setien F, Martínez-Cardús A, Moran S, Villanueva A, Calaf M, Vidal A, Lazo PA, Zondervan I, Savola S, Kohno T, Yokota J, Ribas de Pouplana LEsteller M 2016, ‘Gene Amplification-Associated Overexpression of the RNA Editing Enzyme ADAR1 Enhances Human Lung Tumorigenesis’, Oncogene, 35, 4407-4413.

– Diaz-Lagares A, Crujeiras AB, Lopez-Serra P, Soler M, Setien F, Goyal A, Sandoval J, Hashimoto Y, Martinez-Cardús A, Gomez A, Heyn H, Moutinho C, Espada J, Vidal A, Paúles M, Galán M, Sala N, Akiyama Y, Martínez-Iniesta M, Farré L, Villanueva A, Gross M, Diederichs S, Guil S & Esteller M 2016, ‘Epigenetic inactivation of the p53-induced long noncoding RNA TP53 target 1 in human cancer’, PNAS, 113, 7535-7544.

– Heyn H, Vidal E, Ferreira HJ, Vizoso M, Sayols S, Gomez A, Moran S, Boque-Sastre R, Guil S, Martinez-Cardus A, Lin CY, Royo R, Sanchez-Mut JV, Martinez R, Gut M, Torrents D, Orozco M, Gut I, Young RA & Esteller M 2016, ‘Epigenomic analysis detects aberrant super-enhancer DNA methylation in human cancer’, Genome Biology, 17, 11.

Selected research activities

European Research Council PoC Grant

Gold Medal, Catalan Parliament

Premi Internacional Catalunya, Generalitat de Catalunya