Nucleases, cancer and immunity

Nucleases play a crucial role in the maintenance of the genome stability as well as in the regulation of the innate immune response to self and non-self nucleic acids. Indeed, alterations in some nucleases have been associated with carcinogenesis and inflammatory diseases. In this regard, functional studies are revealing specific and non-redundant biological roles for many of these genes.

  • Deciphering the function and dysfunction of TREX2
    Research in our laboratory is focused on the exonuclease TREX2. In this regard, our studies have been pioneering in unraveling the specific expression of TREX2 in keratinocytes and its key role in skin carcinogenesis and psoriasis. TREX2 contributes to DNA degradation in keratinocytes suffering DNA damage or accelerated turnover, promoting thus keratinocyte death and subsequent skin inflammation.
    Ongoing studies in the laboratory pursue to understand and gain insights in the relevance and mechanisms of TREX2 in skin homeostasis and pathogenesis.


  • TREX2 targeting in Psoriasis
    The facts that deficiency leads to reduction of psoriasis-associated inflammation and its expression is restricted to keratinocytes highlight this exonuclease as a promising target for innovative skin-directed psoriasis treatments. To that end, current studies in our group aim to identify selective and efficient TREX2 inhibitory drug compounds.


Research interest: Nucleases, DNA-driven responses, Immunity, Psoriasis, Cancer, Skin

  • Manils J, Marruecos L, Soler C.

Exonucleases: Degrading DNA to Deal with Genome Damage, Cell Death, Inflammation and Cancer.
Cells. 2022 Jul 9;11(14):2157.
Doi: 10.3390/cells11142157

  • Marruecos L, Manils J, Moreta C, Gómez D, Filgaira I, Serafin A, Cañas X, Espinosa L, Soler C

Single loss of a Trp53 allele triggers an increased oxidative, DNA damage and cytokine inflammatory responses through deregulation of IκBα expression.

Cell Death Dis. 2021 Apr 6;12(4):359.


  • Matera C, Gomila AMJ, Camarero N, Libergoli M, Soler C, Gorostiza P.

Photoswitchable Antimetabolite for Targeted Photoactivated Chemotherapy.

J Am Chem Soc. 2018, 140(46):15764-15773.


  • Manils J, Fischer H, Climent J, Casas E,  García-Martínez C, Bas J, Vavouri T, Ciruela F, de Anta JM, Tschachler E, Eckhart L, and Soler C.

Double deficiency of Trex2 and Dnase1L2 nucleases leads to accumulation of DNA in lingual cornifying keratinocytes without activating inflammatory responses.
Sci Rep, 2017, 7(1):11902.


  • Manils J, Casas E, Viña-Vilaseca A, Lopez M, Díez-Villanueva A, Gómez D, Marruecos L, Ferran M, Benito C, Perrino FW, Vavouri T, de Anta JM, Ciruela F, and Soler C.

The exonuclease TREX2 shapes psoriatic phenotype.
J Invest Dermatol, 2016, 136(12):2345-55.


  • Manils J, Gómez D, Salla-Martret M, Fischer H, Fye JM, Marzo E, Marruecos L, Serrano I, Salgado R, Rodrigo JP, Garcia-Pedrero JM, Serafin AM, Cañas X, Benito C, Toll A, Forcales SV, Perrino FW, Eckhart L, Soler C.

Multifaceted role of TREX2 in the skin defense against UV-induced skin carcinogenesis.
Oncotarget, 2015, 6(26):22375-96.


  • Parra D, Manils J, Castellana B, Viña-Vilaseca A, Morán-Salvador E, Vázquez-Villoldo N, Tarancón G, Borràs M, Sancho S, Benito C, Ortega S, Soler C.

Increased Susceptibility to Skin Carcinogenesis in TREX2 Knockout Mice.
Cancer Res. 2009, 69(16):6676-84.