Levent Akyürek's research

Clinical lung cancer research and biology of filamins

Research group
Active research
Project owner
Institute of Biomedicine

Short description

Gene expression changes that dictate initiation, progression and metastasis of pulmonary adenocarcinomas are the focus of Levent Akyürek's research group, particularly how these alterations impact distinct histomorphological growth patterns of lung epithelial cells in their microenvironment. Histopathology using human cancer tissues, molecular analysis, cell culture studies, and experimental models are being used. In another project, we determine if altered expression and cleavage of cytoskeletal filamin proteins by calpains regulate remodeling in atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction as well as tumor growth and metastasis.

Our areas of research
Clinical lung cancer
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. In clinical projects, we determine novel molecular mechanisms behind initiation of precancerous lesions and the biological relevance of different histomorphological phenotypes of lung cancers. We use human clinical samples, in vitro cell culture, organoid models and genetically modified animal models through established collaborations primarily between the Department of Oncology and Thoracic Surgery at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital and the Sahlgrenska Center for Cancer Research in Gothenburg.

Biology of filamins
Actin-binding cytoskeletal filamins are involved in both cardiovascular remodeling after atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction and tumor growth. In translational research projects, we discover novel mechanisms behind adaptive and oncogenic angiogenesis using vascular and cancer cells and murine lines lacking filamins. The biological importance of filamins in neuroblastoma is another focus. These projects are being performed in collaboration between the Sahlgrenska Center for Cancer Research in Gothenburg and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. 

Current collaborators
Volkan Sayin, Sahlgrenska Center for Cancer Research
Per Lindahl, Sahlgrenska Center for Cancer Research
Sukanya Raghavan, Department of Clinical Immunology and Transfusion Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital
Andreas Hallqvist, Department of Oncology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital
Chandrasekhar Kanduri, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Gothenburg
Martin Bergö, Karolinska Institutet


Group members

Sashidar Bandaru, Postdoctoral Fellow

Dyar Mustafa, MD, PhD Fellow

Gustaf Danielsson, MD, Resident Pathologist

Sahar Alawieh, Biomedical Analyst

Jennie Pettersson, Medical Undergraduate