Transmit: Translating the role of mitochondria in tumorigenesis

A Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network funded by the EU Horizon 2020 Framework Programme

The TRANSMIT ESRs attending the AvantiCell Science Commercial Awareness Workshop in Ayr, July 2018


Project Overview

Cancer is being increasingly recognised as a metabolic, as well as genetic, disease which introduces a need to further investigate the metabolic changes which transformed cells (cancerous cells) must undergo to survive the adverse tumour microenvironment conditions created during the disease, and how oncogenes and tumour suppressors affect this process. Mitochondria have been recognised as key machinery involved in metabolic remodelling during cancer. These organelles play a crucial role in energy production within the cell and defects in this production is believed to lead to cancer. These defects are sometimes due to mutations in metabolic enzymes encoded by both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.

Transmit aims to investigate the metabolic remodelling in human cancers, focusing on mitochondria, which will bridge basic research to improved development of potential therapies. The project will also communicate this emerging field to the patients and their families.

A network of world-leading scientific centres, industry SMEs, non-profit foundations and cancer care associations will work together throughout the course of the project, to allow the transfer of knowledge from all related fields. Eleven early-stage researchers (ESRs) will be trained using these scientific and technical advances to unravel the metabolic features of cancer as well as providing a portfolio of transferrable skills which will improve the multidisciplinary training and education of young research scientists.

For more information on the Transmit Project, click the logo below.

You can also hear directly from the TRANSMIT ESRs via their YouTube channel.


AvantiCell’s Role

The role of the ESR working in AvantiCell is to use cell-based technologies to create in vitro models displaying aberrations in cancer cell metabolism that contribute to disease progression. The basis of the models will be primary cancer cells obtained with full ethical permission from patients undergoing surgery. Isolated tumour cells will be submitted to metabolic analysis to identify disease related adaptations that are the focus of research by other partners. Initially characterized 2D cultures will be adapted for culture in 3D customised structures, providing a higher physiological relevance. The ESR will also interact with other TRANSMIT partners to identify suitable readouts which can act as targets for therapeutic interventions. With this, the ESR will ensure that metabolic dysfunctions targetable in new drug development are represented in a pane of novel cell models accessible by industry for preclinical screening purposes.

Project Update

Culture and characterization of previously isolated human primary colon cancer cells through a wide range of assays (microscopy, viability, cytotoxicity, apoptosis, ATP, DNA). Optimization of standardized protocols for cryopreservation of human primary colon cancer cells.



Transmit is a Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions (MSCA)

Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded by the European

Union under the Horizon2020 Framework Programme

(Grant Agreement 722605).